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tv   Public Affairs Events  CSPAN  December 3, 2016 3:00am-7:01am EST

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to have the consumption state with most of these tax forms oppose seoul's to come to the same conclusion and then move to the consumption based double or triple or quadruple taxes soto eliminate the tax preferences. why? in those for various producers leads to the inefficient production processes. so does censuring the production possibility find?
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and for comparable reasons the inefficient ability of what they want. so what does not quadruple the tax capital and then to achieve a substantial movement went to the criteria what is the tax reform. and that is extremely positive step with us pace that has double or triple taxes for call that trump in new proposal makes very positive steps been. so i think we have the best opportunity and quite
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literally in two decades to have a positive pro-growth tax reform done and it has the potential if the nba correctly to increase in gdp to lead to the extraordinarily positive economy with wages increase with opportunities once again are avail of all know i will turnover. >> should be set to or stand ? okay we will stay here. good morning thanks for coming. i am sure most one thought hillary clinton would win the election over the last eight years i have spent
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many vacation plans that i have to one canceled and now that is the chance to come up with a tax policy so with the tax proposal the next congress should address the of first of all the tax code distorts the allocation of resources in impedes both potential growth and revenue but make no mistake we must do this and the time is now. . .
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the plan to the depreciation altogether and the past few years they've tried to figure out how to do the lower rate and that is not the way to go. focusing on the right tax they tinker around the edges that will only exacerbate the problems that are already evident in the corporate tax code. there is an old saying is paved with good intentions.
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a charming brady made a good point you want to broaden the base and lower the rates. then you have to raise the tax rate. that distorts the kind of behavior so we have trade-offs to make its try to avoid the complexity and keep it simple. they tinker around the edges and exacerbate the problems and further the complexity and create the businesses by using the tax code to pick winners and losers. before the outsourcing of the activity the american jobs, the
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u.s. companies to form the multinationals are the further erosiothat the furthererosion ox base. it impedes the growth in the tax policy and we talked with the discussion on the brady and trump plans keep in mind that only people pay taxes. corporations don't pay taxes. it's the legal responsibility of the burden of any tax falls on the capital and consumers. they say it is a cut out of business. businesses are made up of people. the attacks has fallen. we are cutting business and
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that's important. we have been doing the opposite recently and now is the chance to do something more competitive beginning next year we will have them in serious abou is seriousm and that's why we are so excited. it proves the most basic affect the more you tax the capital labor the less you get. it makes clear that incentives matter. the tax reform with lower individual tax rate. one thing we shouldn't do we shouldn't raise tax rates. it's one of the highest in the industrialized world and increases the lower tax countries taking the jobs, and tax dollars with them. while it's not going to solve all the problems one of the biggest we have is lowering the tax rate on the corporate side and individual. there are so many incentives we have right now for the businesses and jobs overseas.
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it's important the income be taxed once and only once and there is concern that they pay a lower tax rate than those with ordinary income but this fails to reflect the tax o at the corporate level and individual level. we will get into that specifically. luckily policymakers find the principles and goals as the key to a successful revenue system. the successful revenue system should include the following it should be simple. i know it's hard to understand that with a complex code it makes it difficult and costly to comply with and scam. they should make it as simple and transparent as possible. it should be equitable. they talked about the idea of it being fair. the benefit of the individuals and groups in the tax code that
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policies are resolved in an immeasurable consequence while fairness is subjective tax fairness would reduce the number of provisions that would have one over another. the tax code should be efficient because it alters market decisions and should such areas as impedes the growth and tax revenue. the tax system should provide revenue to fund essential serviceservices but little impan changing the behavior. it also should be predictable. a lot of questions of reconciliation to allow the ten year window. the effect is not just what it does today but also what it may do in the future. such uncertainty deters the growth and requires the tax code near and long-term predictability so it's in the tax code forever if you will. to conclude there is research as
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to which policies are most likely to provide the growth revenues and which ones will fail. the more you tax something the less you get. if you want more labor, work, savings, more job creation, unless. broaden the base to make loopholes. one of the keys to mov is to moy from a spending system. tathe tax reform should get over rates and the greater economic growth and increase revenues. there shouldn't be double taxation for the bad tax incentives. they follow many of these principles we will talk about with my two colleagues. thank you.
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>> i was impressed with the remarks. what i would like to go through today is what's wrong in the current system and then compare the current system to an ideal system and then look at how it moves in that direction to a considerable extent. many people say everything is treated evenly. the secret about the income taxes that it was set up to be bias and redistribute wealth. if you had a perfect income tax that wouldn't be neutral but for the treating most but it wouldn't be penalizing the savings for future consumption and that is the problem that we face.
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you can take to the supermarket and sit at home and we won't tax you again. generally we don't tax after-tax income where you go out and consume but if you want to buy interest payments in the future we tax the interest and to get the dividend we packed it could tax the dividend and the earnings on the business even if it is after-tax money. the basic is against savings and the next step is the corporate tax for the games distribution even before you get them so that's the third layer of tax that is not imposed on consumption and then if you have enough money in the bank balance you set aside in case you need to go into a nursing home that would be an exempt amount and anything over that might be a an
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estate tax. the next problem is they don't measure income correctly. if you are a business and buy a 100-dollar machine you spend $100 but we don't want you to write it off right away. if there is a nonzero cost of the time value of money which there is and there is inflation, that isn't worth the whole $100. you spend more than you right off in the present value and we are overstating the income the entire time. the tax rate is higher than it appears to be. and finally, we have the problem of trying to tax income when it's already been taxed abroad and we have to have a complicated tax credit to try to avoid taxation which doesn't always work so we have a system that overstates the investment
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several times. it's because of these problems many people researched how to put together something called the personal expenditure tax. they can be progressive but it doesn't have this added bias against savings and investments. so what would that look like tax you'd have to do something about the double taxation either the savings upfront and then not tax the return which we do with municipal bonds or you could tax on the income committee would not put the tax on income if you put them into savings and is regular and then tax it when you take it out. but not just limited amounts you have to take out and follow certain rules. the next step, the businesses
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and the corporate earnings this is the dividend or some other way of integrating the two systems, so either the business or the individual level. then you would have to get rid of that estate tax because that's income that's already -- every income has been paid tax. when you first earned it and saved it or put it into an investment and it was taxed again even in an ira, we postponed the tax. so it's either been taxed already sometimes more than once or it's about to be taxed. the next step you need to get rid of that and create x. printing so people can deduct the full value of what they actually spend not some reduced
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value. finally, we should have a territorial tax system like most of the partners earned abroad where they provided the water and sewer and the police protection. they don't start getting into each other sandboxes to grab each other's toys. that is in the wa isn't the ways system. so, we have all had in mind -- with all that in mind, let's take a look at how the blueprint stacks up. it reduces the tax rates for individuals and businesses in this reduces the tax of the business level and the added tax and capital gains. it doesn't eliminate one or the other. but the rates on both of them are lower so there is less of a double tax system. in the process they do eliminate the deductible interest while continuing to tax it at the recipient's bible.
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the right way is either to deduct the interest and tax the recipient. they are eliminating the deduction but continuing to tax the recipient, which is a mistake. there is a problem with that. the senate has an interesting. you can do something similar for interest and solve the problem. i think it is something that can be worked out but both methods are a large amount for the of te deduction because many of the interest recipients. the plan that ends the death tax at least that is one of the key points of moving in the system and edit office expensing from
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the other key point on the business side for moving towards the neutral tax system and adopts the territorial structure that is would have and in the selling abroad. these are big improvements. four out of five stars and i have to tell you it is much better than was done in 1986. in 1986, we did a lot. 86 move towards this income tax with longer assets and got rid of the investment tax credit, made it harder to use the pensions, damaged the real estate and addictive over the corporate rate fo but the other features were so great relative to the consumption that when you lower the rate you didn't speak up for it. that wa was back to the pure income. this is in the general direction of the tax where savings and
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investments are treated on par with the consumption and that is largely eliminated and why you want to do it because as much as the old people back there wanted to restrict wealth and thought they were helping the poor, what happens if there are zero machines bought, there ar bob, r farms operating in fewer mines operating and there's older machinemachinesmachines into ths less productivwork force islesss depressed. this sort of plan moving in mr. action raises the pretax wages and that's where the big games come from. when we ru run to the model and calculate how much would be formed and how much would go up we get some very dramatic results. this plan even to the doesn't go towards the neutral base is so far along that line th but it gs about a 9% boost in gdp. it would be almost 30% larger,
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wages almost 8% larger and there werwould be a couple percentages more of people working, the total increase would be split on the wag wage side and the higher wages per worker and more workers working. a big improvement in the bill. the initial cost would be offset in a large measure by the growth effect of the plan and we figured out over the decade it would be about $190 billion then further out you get even more revenue coming. >> vet to truly static loss should be looked at in that context. there's almost no revenue over the ten-year window and there's improvements further out.
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if you look at the distribution table from this basis if you are lowering the tax rate from the corporate business and capital gains dividends a lot of it goes to the top but if you factor in the wage growth that looks like a much more even distribution. the total after-tax income of p. 8.7% on average between 8.429.3% higher for the bottom 99% of the population and it would be about 13% higher that the benefits to the 99% are huge and the benefits to the labor force are huge, and that's why you want to do this kind of reform. thank you. >> the first thing i want to say did you notice i dug out the tie from my closet i have to say
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it's lost its power. i didn't want big government conservatism. what i want to do after we had to go to the presentations from jason and steve, i want to touch on a few additional issues so that we can wrap this up and i can figure out how to work the thing. we heard the tax policy so i don't need to reiterate that but i want to add one thing that i think jason and steve and david would agree with. you can't have good tax policy if you don't control the growth of government spending. i have a lot of faith in what the house has done for the last several years in the budget resolutions that the house is serious about controlling the
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government spending and therefore enabling and creating breathing room to do good tax policy. i'm not quite sure what we are going to see out of the new president. he's said things that make me worry he might not want to reform entitlement and then i worry we will never have the chance to have good sustainable long-run tax policies so even though it isn't a principle of the tax policy if we don't control government spending, we will never get good tax policy, we will never achieve those things all of the panelists have already talked about but in than terms of those things, let me just reinforce a couple points. politicians understand tax rates matter when they want to. we need higher taxes. as a libertarian i don't think we should be trying to control peoples lives that i would give them an a+ for economics but
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then they turn around and say it doesn't matter if you have high tax rates on investors and things like that. of course it matters people respond to incentives and we want to have the tax rate as low as possible. and i want to also emphasize with the other panelists us about the importance of the double taxation and this is where i thought he took the form are working to put together the tax reform plan and then in effect tried to break out the barriers for a plan that is even better. but the key thing to is reducing the double taxation and i want to say what gets this beyond the politicians i ask them if you
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had a borchard did you spend all those years planting the trees, keeping away pests and finally a what is the best way to harvest the apples? do you pick them from the tree or to chop down the tree? that's exactly what we do on the tax code. technically we are sawing branches of the tree. in this example i have here it is the capital and the income. do not fall off the branches of the tree. that is what steve was talking about when he was referencing
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the fact that we would've lower people's income and there would be less in the future for ordinary workers if we destroy the capitol and th capital in th data tax policies. the good news is in general, trump is pushing in that direction. there's no question brady is pushing in that direction and there's even some on the senate side people joke that's where good ideas go to die. i guess in my last couple of minutes i want to raise something we all need to think about as people who are friendly to the idea of tax reform and that's the sort of destination-based part of the tax reform plan. but first here is the chart i put out is the sort of goal to stand standard then i compare it
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to however you want to call it and you can see both are moving significantly in the right direction. when i am giving them basically bees and b+ as committed as a move in the right direction but you will notice on the lower right i have these question marks under things like territoriality because what the house plan is doing is radically different. it might turn out to be acceptable that we are obligated to give some serious thought about what this means because you are exhibiting all income and you're not allowing any deduction for the inputs. is that a protectionist?
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is it going to be compliant? for those of us that have some gray hair we remember when it ruled against provisions of the tax code and eventually after years and years they were forced to change it. though they do the same thing, is this an indirect tax structure lacks we have to think about those issues. but destination-based plan is because the wages are deductible
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defendants by the time they get these cases and what happens if the politicians in the future that might not have the same interest in the government tax policy they get the decision and save a simple way to deal with this is to make the wages go to deductible even though it will be this, they will probably approve it and that of course i think you may as well .-full-stop shop because the chance would be very low. this is something i think we need to think about. also, we have to think about the implications that's one of the few good things on our side in the degree to the political class. in some senses it is based on the plan published for american progress which isn't an organization friendly to the limited government and tax rates and the first subtitle was
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avoiding the race to the bottom and that is a term the left uses because they don't like tax competition. others are cutting taxes and other countries had to cut taxes. i think that's wonderful they use it as a race to the bottom. they want to avoid a race to the bottom by doing the destination tax that to me suggests we better be careful about doing this because people who don't like it wants that approach that worries me a lot and by the way, i don't want to get into the technical boring tax things that this is a system where the same thing that underlies the proposal and the sales tax cartel state governments want. the plan is create this is a new thing and i think we need to think about whether or not i tht would be good in the long run.
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two final points that are political. when you do this system in effect, the goal is to maximize the taxes paid by americans and having no tax on the horrors. politically that doesn't make sense. the other political thing i worry about, normally all the things that are being talked about in the various tax reform plans, double taxation, territoriality, these are things the business community can be united behind that when you do o the cash flow tax, you are in effect saying to every company that there's a lot of importing. think about wal-mart or something like that. you will make them strong opponents of the plan. if republicans are doing something you have to go up against the left and the media and a lot of opponents doing the usual, do you really want to have part of the business community against you? i think the plan is great and
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the best thing to come out of congress in a long time. i think there's been a huge amount of work done on it but when we are thinking about melding the plan i do worry about this one position because i don't know that enough thought has been given to it and these are just some concerns. everybody else covered the main things about taxation. i figured i would close by raising a few warning flags because this is something we need to think about. thank you very much. >> he wanted to say something with response to the other panels? >> one, controlling the growth of spending he's completely right and i think it's looking at what is good tax reform. one of the problems we have going forward, spending is so
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high, one of the oppositions is that it doesn't raise revenue. we have to ge give spending outf control in the long term so you can avoid this. he's completely correct on that and also mentioned something i'm still enough to remember what it is before the sales corporation the idea was to set up some sort of a subsidiary that had a lot of sunshine and he would deter some of your sales if the u.s. export and it was called on holiday so a lot of them would set up a corporations in jurisdictions. at 35% tax rate you give
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incentives to find ways to be more competitive. one more point than i will turn it over. how much job creation and economic growth will come out of this. you might hear some debate and criticism versus the static modeling. don't worry about it, get it out of your head. we know the baseline assumption is wrong. we've seen these activities services based on assumptions we have going up.
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in the static basis we can do tax reform. we will turn around and hopefully get more work and investment. let's not focus on whether the static is right and whether it is going to 3%, 4% or 1.5 to three. we have to turn it around. >> some of us have enough gray hair to remember the desk. >> the growth will come from the spending and the border adjustment is perhaps the least
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worthwhile to press for and it will cause a lot of trouble so i wouldn't worry much about it but he is right to raise the question will this be acceptab acceptable. we are wasting a lot of resources. the infrastructure notion that it will be countercyclical and do a lot of good the most we need to do is maintain what we already have. infrastructure increases will not be in the panacea. we've been growing for a number of years but it is just too low and to get that fixed you need an enormous increase for the taxes and regulatory burdens
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that is where most of the growth is great to comfort him so only if it is going to yield a return because it's important. build a bridge to somewhere coming off nowhere and make sure you've done a good cost analysis before you start out. as you get more growth in the number of people needing public assistance will go down to. that's something we need to take account of. the model results i've shown are dramatic and some people think we can't get here from there because there won't be enough saving. if you put this in place there will be periods of lower rates
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encourage people to save. models constrained to allow this to occur are simply wrong. you hear this sometimes if they quote you from the model the results are too big. finally our model is not robust in many ways but there's a lot of people that have left the work force. what if the people that are out come back in droves we are about 17% below in the 1960s.
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it's because the increased regulatory burdens holding us back we got a huge amount of potential growth unutilized and we are only showing that we were capturing half of it with the exchange is. and maybe in a regulatory changes and we get the other 9%. we just need to do well and the administration to go along with it and the senate to just sit there. >> a couple quick things then we will move on to the audience. i will bring to your attention he roots for the georgia football team and i think everyone here probably can agree that is a mistake.
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i want to say a couple things on the aspect of the plan first o off, the most important thing is to move towards the expensing and the secondary importance. what is put together on the business side is fundamentally similar with one difference way that it treats imports and exports. basically production in the united states and whether they are sold in the united states. if you produce things abroad,
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the income tax imposes not one value. the consumption tax is different whether they are produced abroad or the united states and doesn't oppose any tax consumed abroad. that would be the business transfer tax. the question becomes do you want to encourage production overseas were set to system for producing things in the u.s. and abroad. the answer is a system that no
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longer encourages you to move offshore and a tax system that is in that decision. chairman brady is moving in that direction and this will be undoubtedly litigated on the basis it's permissible if it's a direct tax. we know [inaudible] we don't know what ultimately would be the value added tax so
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this is an open question legally. the economic question is different so the long and the short of it is the concerns on this matter are misplaced and the economic judgment. there's a lot of concern about the trade and i think everyone would agree they are counterproductive when you treat the production more adversely but it enables people to enact that concerned.
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with that, let's open up to questions. >> if i am a business and i want to buy an input korean-american juror if i buy the same input i get no deduction at all. why is that not protectionist >> because the value of the good has already been taxed to the.
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it would be as if you had a retail sales tax if you produce something abroad we don't impose any tax on it. that's what the current system does. i assume you would agree. >> it does come down to the debate. >> it's important for our side to hash through these issues you
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made a comment in passing with some public policy outreach you said forget about that and i would say don't forget about that. you open up the newspaper and is a bug with the capital and potatoes are doing. what is missed is the scoring on the public outreach. in terms of outreach into the communication i don't think one
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person in a hundred understand how important this is a. >> what tends to happen is they will find the differences are not to disparage the entire plan so if you go out and say our job is going to create 4 million jobs and maybe it creates 3.5, they got it wrong the whole plan must be wrong that's not to say the model is wrong and we shouldn't push it but what you will see his people from brookings, the center for american progress, they will say that it's wrong and start
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quibbling on the differences so i want to focus on static is wrong. they are not accounting for these things. if we talk about the static dynamic are going to lose them. >> the house wasn't acquiring the dynamics for the committee and now it is. they are trying. we are not getting the pushback we used to get. it's not just to reassure the house members they are not voting for a deficit.
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it's to teach them what it's likely to do. the dynamic scoring process will give them the information that they might not have if they tossed it out and didn't look deeper. but if i substitute this position for that. some of them came back 40 and 50 times that it educated them what
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the outcome would be and they were able to target the growth of more efficiently by using a model that gave them that feedback. that is one of the biggest reasons is the policy. >> it takes into account the economic reality. we will change our language. that is a good point. >> [inaudible] >> i don't think the microphone is on. maybe i'm wrong. i want to return to the discussion.
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a manufacturer that has an input because there is no domestic source my belief that would have a negative impact on the terrace on the input you have no domestic source so now you're saying that you would pay on that again. you pay tariffs on the input. it already exists. it's not going to get rid of the foreign terrorists. >> you're saying 5% isn't part of the revenue service, the part of the harmonized [inaudible] >> what i >> what is your follow-on question? >> i am agreeing that the foreign input if they are not treated the same as the domestic
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input fair to the domestic manufacturers that are trying to keep production in the united states. >> since david isn't jumping in, i will jump in. that's one of the reasons why i'm looking at the same thinking we haven't paid enough attention to this issue and we need to. it might be that as we go down the road one month, two months my concerns will be eased but i can't help but look at it if i'm buying from a supply your overseas i get no deduction which might mean the tax rates that exists will be akin to a tariff. it is akin to the final corporate tax rate and i just think those of us that wants tax reform need to pay attention to
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this. the house plan was a statement of principles. now all of a sudden this is an issue and we might have the chance to do some real things. no matter what, 80 to 90% will be things i like, not just looking at the one provision and worrying maybe the approach on this even though he gets rid of the deferral which i don't like so maybe we can mix the two plans and get rid of everything else which seems reasonable to me. >> the problem as you describe, not the proposed tax treatment which is to treat u.s.
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production and fou foreign production identically which is the u.s. production taxed. >> part of the confusion in the area even among the experienced professors at leading universities when they get together to talk about this big kind of jumbled up. it depends whether you are looking at it back to the producers or whether it's being paid by the consumer's. if you've got more than one country that starting point in the assumption as to where it falls can lead to opposite conclusions which is why they say they have to be the same.
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it is a 10% tax and if you think of it on the producer side but f that is coming into germany and they are paying the same tax in germany, no problem again. what you have here is different. the export didn't hurt. they substituted an increase and have some advantage. it probably doesn't matter very
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much. if, however we take our whole corporate tax and convert it to what amounts, then we are getting the advantage back on everything. they might look at that and say we have to abolish the corporate tax to compete with what the united states should have done and i think to some extent they would feel some of that pain. so i need to think this through much more than i've been able to do because this is confusing. it is complicated and we have to think this through a bit more. i'm sure there's an answer out there we don't have it yet.
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you wrote a paper i forget the name of it people that are interested and -- >> it's in the book and the old website. it was the secret chamber of the public square you can buy it for $5 or less on amazon because there's a lot of used copies. it addresses a number of issues we've been discussing. jason did a story on the distributional analysis. the book is probably one of the best ones out there.
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[laughter] >> you have to spend $3 on amazon. any questions before we close? thank you all very much for coming. the session is c the c-span cities tour -- a virus or in contemporary america. after the great fires of
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1910, tried to take it out of the landscape. problem was the result good fires and1910, tried backfires. it was happy history of the engagement, we try to put the good fire back in and that has been difficult. >> here about the challenges of writing history. >> i will try to do it as best i but is balanced i can, get to do something creative and say this is what i said happened. >> on american history tv, here from the lives of u.s. senators they were goldwater and paul hayden on their political papers. >> when you look at carl hayden's career, he was really responsible for cosponsoring and writing a huge amount of legislation that benefited the
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citizens of arizona and the united states. his legacy was very much a legislative legacy. was really aer person who is an icon for the western united states. he was a person to represented the interests of the west. smith shows us the contributions towards the early history who is credited with founding tempe.
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this is 10 minutes. i feel myself the balance of the time. first of all, i like a lot of what is in this bill. i think it is also important what is not in this bill. there were a number of the actualissues to business of national security put in by one side or the other. we were able to remove in conferences. one of the most prominent ones
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was one raised earlier, the russell amendment, having to do with the ability of companies and businesses that are receiving government contracts to discriminate. and i was very much opposed to the russell amendment, i happily agreed to take it out. i just want to explain a little bit exactly what it is. it is simple. all the executive order that the president did accomplish in this , he is saying if you do business with the federal government, you cannot discriminate against certain classes of people. ones isy one of the big you cannot discriminate based on race. areou're religious tenets racist, for instance, you don't like black people and don't employ them or do business with them, we, as the federal government, have decided that is not acceptable. and we will not allow you to do business with the federal government. all this executive order did,
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was at the lgbt community to those protected classes. basically, what we are saying is, not only is it -- unacceptable to be racist, it is not acceptable to be homophobic. i completely agree with that. i hope our country would get to the place where it would agreement that as well. if you feel you must discriminate against people simply based on their sexual preference, and we will not do business with you. that is a policy i think we should have. and that is what the executive order does. to reverse that in the defense bill, i think would be an abomination. particularly since we had made such progress. we finally got rid of don't ask don't tell. so that gay and lesbian people conserve openly in the military. they have served for decades. excuse me, the house is not in order. [gavel] >> the house will be in order.
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>> and now they are allowed to serve openly. we love transgender people deserve openly, as well. i'm -- this would take us back. all theo emphasizes executive order does is, it is not all right to be racist, it is also not right to be homophobic -- homophobic. i want to further add that within that executive order, or are many exceptions that already exist. even i'm a lawyer and lawyers have tried to explain this to me, i don't fully understand all of those exceptions. but religious groups are allowed to discriminate based on the tenets of their belief based on the executive order already passed. even those pushing the russell amendment already have what they want, even the why think they shouldn't. there is no need to further emphasize we are going to allow people who do contracts with the federal government to discriminate against the lgbt
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community. second point i want to make is on the money. we have heard over and over again about how underfunded everything is. but we are spending 1600 19 million -- $19 million. far and away more money than any country in the world. and we have been for decades that any other country in the world. we ought to be able to build a military that can protect our national security interests for that amount of money. not only should we be able to, we are going to have to. because we are $19 trillion in debt. i forget what the deficit at year, but weis have a president coming into office who is promising trillions of dollars in additional tax cuts. we also have a crumbling infrastructure in this country. it is just as important that we maintain the strength of our
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auntry at home, that we have transportation and education infrastructure, a research infrastructure, that continues to make us strong, as we do have a's -- strong national security apparatus. it we spent all of our money on tax cuts and defense, we will end up with a hollow country. you have to make some tough choices going forward. i believe we can meet our national security needs are less money than we spend. there are greater efficiencies, -- inefficiencies, programs we don't need. as our decisions we won't have to make in the years ahead. more than we can possibly have money for in the next decade. we cannot dodge the tough give us and defense we can afford, but also provide for national security. i want to close where i started and said the product of this
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bill, i don't know how many pages it is this year, but its a lot -- requires a lot of work. the people you see sitting behind us are the staff that do that work tirelessly, night after night. it is a long process to put it together and negotiate. we have the most outstanding staff i can imagine. i want to make sure we thank them for the incredible work they do. not just for us, that the men and women who serve in the military. again, i wanted thank chairman thornberry. we work in a bipartisan matter on this committee. that is not easy. i have been here 20 years. this place has become more partisan, it has become more difficult to do anything. to pass any kind of ill where both houses -- parties work together. this is a shining example of the way the legislative process should work. fore are many to thank
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that, but it all starts with mr. thornberry, the chairman. also, senator mccain being dedicated to the principle of bipartisanship, working together. and number two, the absolute commitment that we will get our job done. sometimes -- we got all the way year, weember 16 one are way ahead of schedule by that standard. but we always get it done and it is a credit to that chairman. the passage of this important bill, and i think the chairman for his great work and the staff that made it possible. >> the time has expired. the gentleman from texas. >> i healed the balance of my time. >> recognized. i agree with the distinguished ranking member that produce this deal requires effort by a number of people. starting with him, other members of the committee, other members
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of the house. it is also essential that our staff, who support our work, he thanked as he has done a great job. i agree about the leadership of senator john mccain, a man country onhe military history at this point. his leadership along with jack reed, have been essential. not only in this bill, but in congress being able to fulfill its constitutional responsibilities. i know there are disappointments with this bill, mr. speaker. there are things that people would like to see in here. a lot of them, not really for defense issues, but those be dropped to get the bill to this point. i am confident the new administration will review the executive orders the ranking
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member was talking about. and those on pins -- unconstitutional restrictions for the first amendment will be reviewed, modified or repealed. all of that facilitated getting this bill before us today. i am also hopeful that the new administration will send us a supplemental request. because there are different -- items from needed ships, munitions, planes, that are not authorized in this bill. but are desperately needed by our troops. so i hope and expect that we will be -- do better in the coming years to fulfill our sponsor under the constitution. mr. speaker, i would end with this. i believe the first job of the federal government is to defend the country. puts specificon responsibilities on our shoulders to raise and support, provide and maintain the military forces of the united
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states. the most important part of that responsibility deals with the people. else,is bill, if nothing supports the men and women who volunteer to risk their lives to defend us and protect our freedoms. for that reason alone, it deserves the support of every member of the house. i hope it will receive that and you that the balance of my time. , where history unfolds daily. in 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies and is brought to you today either cable or satellite provider. leo shane joins us, to discuss the president-elect's pick pick for defense secretary which mr. trump says he'll officially announce on monday. leo, this is retired general james mattis.
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tell us a little about the general and what is at issue. -- the issue with his nomination. >> a very popular figure within the marine corps known for colorful language and being a real warrior scholar. some someone who is well respected in congress and not expected to face too much opposition but there is the problem of the national security act in place which says if you , serve in the military you have to wait seven years to be eligible for secretary of defense. general mattis retired only a few years ago. he'll be at four years by the time this comes around. so he'll need a special waiver to get through and a few lawmakers have already raised an eyebrow about that. >> how long has that restriction been in place of a member of the military serving a civilian role? >> this has been a law since the 1940's and as soon as congress passed it, they almost immediately granted a waiver for former secretary of defense marshall. but when it was first passed the original restriction was 10
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years. back in the they shortened that 1980's, to seven years. in this case it is still a problem and a couple more hoops for folks to jump through. senator mccain has already said he fully supports the mat is -- mattis nomination and thinks he as great pick and is willing to shepherd the legislation through needed to take care of this. but we did hear objection from senator joe brand right after announcement happened yesterday saying she has concerns this is supposed to be a civilian not a military post and that is why the law is in effect so she'll put up some , resistance, at least make sure that the senate has to go through the normal procedure for passing legislation and not allow unanimous consent or sail through without conversation about why the law is here and what it means to have somebody who was in the military take over this role. >> let's go through some of those groups that you talked about. which committees would the waiver need to go through? would it need to pass in the house and the senate before he
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is confirmed? and what kind of threshold of votes are we talking about? >> we're still trying to figure out all the details here because this isn't something that comes up on a regular basis but this , is going to go through the senate armed services committee and as i said senator mccain who , is the chairman of that committee, has said he's already at work trying to draft appropriate legislation and make sure this sails through as easily as possible. since it is legislation it has , to go through both chambers and is subject to the same rules and vote totals a normal piece of legislation would be. there is going to need to be 60 senators to sign off to get it through as opposed to the normal nomination process where they need a simple majority. it should be a little complicated and interesting to see how it all unfolds. but as i said, there's pretty widespread support for him in this pick. he is a very popular figure within the military, within congress. a lot of folks are happy to see president-elect trump has picked someone very familiar with foreign policy and with these
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issues. so i imagine something that is going to take extra paperwork but in the end not be a real , obstacle for him. >> here is a look at what the chair of the senate armed services committee has been saying about him. pleased that the president-elect has selected general jim mattis for secretary of defense one of the finest military officers of his generation. what has senator mccain said specifically about getting the waiver through congress? >> just that he's willing to work on it and is already at work to go through this. he doesn't see the nomination as any sort of real concern, real obstacle. on the democratic side the few , democrats who have brought this up, senator jill brand is the only one who officially said she'll oppose his nomination. we've heard from a few democrats who say, look, this is worth looking at, looking into. we don't have any problem with general mattis but there is a reason this law is on the books and we need to take serious consideration of that. >> here is a look, of course
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senator gillibrand from new york tweeted as well, while i respect general mattis' service i'll oppose a waiver civilian control of our military is a fundamental principle of american democracy. you said you're really not hearing any more than what you've heard from her about senators wanting to block this nomination. >> you know, congressman schiff on the house side has said he has some of the same concerns. adam smith, who is a ranking member of the house armed services committee, he said he has the same concerns. again, it's concerns with this idea of do we have a civilian , controlled military or military controlled military? no one is saying anything against general mattis at this point. he has, as i have said, had some colorful language and controversial positions that got him forced out of the obama administration. he was openly fighting with them about their stance toward iran. but at least on the hill right now it's a theoretical , discussion about military civilian control and not so much a discussion about general mattis's credentials.
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>> so if the waiver is passed you see pretty smooth sailing as , far as confirmation is concerned? >> you know, for the number of questionable or possibly controversial nominations we're seeing this doesn't seem to be , one of them. this seems to be one where a lot of folks are going to say a lot of the right things and maybe we'll see some nice, scholarly conversations about what it means to have a civilian controlled military on the hill instead of attacks on general mattis's past. >> all right. leo we'll keep following you on , twitter. leo shane is your handle. we'll look for your writing in the military times. militarytimes.com. thanks so much. >> thank you. >> follow the transition of government on c-span as donald trump becomes the 45th president of the united states and republicans maintain control of the u.s. house and senate. we'll take you to key events as they happen, without interruption. watch live on c-span. watch on demand at c-span.org or
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listen on our free c-span radio app. >> thank you very much. welcome to congress. [applause] >> coming up next a discussion about the future of conservativism with two republican lawmakers. then a formal russian political prisoner talks about u.s. russian relations and his views on russian president vladimir putin. oralater, supreme court arguments in a case that will decide whether the federal government can contain immigrants indefinitely without a bond hearing when facing deportation. >> next, outgoing house study -- republican chair bill flores joining incoming chair representative mark walker for a discussion on conservativism and what to expect when a new congress begins in january.
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from the american enterprise institute, this is an hour. >> i'm delighted to welcome all of you to the republican study committee changeover in leadership event. our two guests before you today, you know them both. representative bill flores and representative mark walker. we're going to talk today about the republican study committee and what the plans are for the future. please join me in welcoming our guests. [applause] as things generally are these days we have an audience here at aei headquarters and we also have a larger audience watching wise, but semi-live over the internet. a lot of people are joining us by live stream today. we'll be opening up for q & a. before we start, a tiny bit of housekeeping, which is, if you're watching us on live stream and you want to join in on the conversation, the way that you do that on your browser is to go to sli.do and enter the
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code event, the event code aei event. soi.do and aei event is the code. i also, welcome our viewers on c-span. thank you for joining us. well, i've been looking forward to this event because it's something we've done at a.e.i. a whole bunch of times and a relationship we truly cherish. the republican study committee has been a force of intellectual ideas, has been a moral force in the u.s. house of representatives for a long time. and certainly since i've been in , washington, d.c. it's incredibly impressive work. there are 170 members. it really is the majority of the majority in the house. and it impacts major policy. it has in the last few congresses and it really promises to do even more in the coming years given the political , whirlwinds we've seen around here in washington, d.c. the aei and rsc have had a productive and very special relationship. this is the third time we've
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hosted this conversation between the outgoing and incoming chairmen. let me introduce the outgoing and incoming chairmen briefly before we actually turn to the meat of the event. the current r.s.c. chairman is representative bill flores who , represents the 17th district of texas. he's on my far left here. if not ideologically, at least geographically. >> let's leave it geographically. >> congressman flores was elected to congress in 2010 in the epic year of 2010 which is really the beginning of some major changes in party politics around the country. and was elected as r.s.c. chairman in 2014. before that he spent 30 years in , the oil and gas business in texas. the incoming r.s.c. chairman for the next congress is representative mark walker from the sixth district of north carolina. mark and i have gotten to know each other through a series of communication seminars we've been doing on the hill, which is
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really a lovely thing for me. i enjoy it a lot. he was first elected recently in 2014 and has had a rocket-like assent, -- ascent heading up the r.s.c. in just the beginning of the second term. before he was in politics he , worked as a pastor. before ministry he worked in , business and finance. he's done a lot for the pocketbook and for the soul of a lot of americans. and now in politics. two weeks ago he was elected by his colleagues to share the r.s.c. and incoming congress. i congratulate you on that. rep. walker: thank you. >> that's terrific. we couldn't be happier. >> thanks. >> a few things we want to do today is i want to ask a few questions of outgoing chairman flores. then we'll direct a few questions to the incoming chairman. then we'll open it up to discussion with the rest of you. and finally we'll take some live , and virtual questions and discussion and finish up by 4:00. so let's start with you. representative flores, you've been the chairman of the r.s.c. for the last two years of president obama's presidency.
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we didn't know where the country was going. i think we all got a little bit of a surprise in the last election i think it's fair to , say. it is one of the few elections where both people on the left and people on the right were almost equally surprised by how things turned out. one of the key lessons, key takeaways in politics as far as i'm concerned, i am not a washington guy. i'm from the real washington. i'm from seattle, washington. but i haven't lived here most of my career. the remarkable thing that i find is that so many politicians interpret victories as permanent and defeats as permanent. this election tells us that those who saw the permanent realignment of american politics in 2008 as permanently to the left were wrong and those who see this as a permanent victory for the republican party are probably wrong, too. we should never treat any political victories or defeats as permanent. so let's talk about what you've seen over the last few years. what's your assessment looking
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back over the past two years of what you've done in r.s.c. and how you're thinking about it. have you summit up? let me say this. if you look at the macro environment we started with, we started the 114th congress with some headwinds in front of us. first of all, if you remember the president's first state of the union right after he got re-elected was that he was going to bypass congress. you remember the statement he said i've got a pen. i've got a phone. so that set the theme for the last four years of his presidency and he followed through with that threat. so he largely viewed the constitution as irrelevant and congress as an inconvenience. and that's the way he behaved in the last four years. so we had to deal with that. that ultimately i think went to our benefit because the american people rejected that style of leadership. but that said, that is the environment we were living with, with the r.s.c. we did have a majority in the house. we had a majority in the senate.
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the senate majority you couldn't , tell if we were really in the majority or not because it was hard to tell who was controlling the agenda over there. so the r.s.c. had to maintain a clear, thoughtful, conservative course moving forward. and i think we did a pretty good job of that in the 114th congress. we set two of the most aspirational, transformational r.s.c. budgets we've ever passed. we also created a framework of task forces to be able to provide the underlying conservative substance for what became the speaker's a better way agenda. when speaker ryan became speaker and he talked about setting a new path for the country, we decided, look, we are the conservative majority in the house. let's set that. let's take ownership of this. we created six task forces and we dealt with national security, fiscal responsibility, economic empowerment, particularly those that are sort of the permanent
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underclass folks in poverty we have in this country. we looked at better ways to deal with that. we looked at tax reform, health care reform, restoring our limited constitutional form of government, and we took all those on. and we created a series of white papers for the speaker to use or for the house task forces to use and they ultimately formed 70% or 80% of what's in "a better way." if you take that one step further, to the presidential race, donald trump's make america great again really has most of this embedded in it. now, he articulated it in a manner a lot different than the way i would do it. it was definitely different than the way mike pence did. but he was saying essentially the same things, in terms of let's get america back on the right set of rails. and so, you know, i feel like the r.s.c. played a part in the transformation of government that we've had over the last few weeks.
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now, history will determine whether that's the case or not. i do want to echo something you said. i just read a headline before i headed over here today, said the democratic party is dead. i think most of us in this room would like to say that's true. but if it's going to be dead, it's up to us to keep it that way. if we as conservatives lose our bearings. if we go in the wrong direction, and we've seen it in the past. you saw republicans stray away in the 1970's and from their core principles during the bush 43 presidency. that willy away, provide the kernel that allows the democratic party to come back. we have to stay thoughtful to the core values that we espoused in this last election that gave us a unified government. i feel pretty confident under mark's leadership we'll do that. we've set the framework and i
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think mark is exactly the right person to lead us forward. >> what would you say are the biggest headwinds you faced over the past two years? >> first of all, we had, you had a senate that believed that -- how do i want to say this -- carefully. let's just put it this way. the rules of the senate -- >> we're not on tv or anything. rep. flores: i've already had a couple senators call me about some of my comments. some were house broken senators, too. anyway, let me say this. the american people make decisions in elections and they really don't care what our rules are up here. they don't care about this inside washington stuff. you know, when they say drain the swamp they mean drain the , swamp. they don't care if there is a 60-vote threshold in the senate or not. they want to get things done. i think the biggest impediment we had over the last couple
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years, or was, primarily you had an out of control executive branch and when you're actually digging into the constitution we have a limited set of remedies to deal with that. if you don't have a senate that's willing to go ahead and use their majority in an effective manner to help you out. so if you want to change the behavior of the executive branch , change the way you allocate dollars. but that means you have to pass an appropriations bill. and the senate only passed one or two appropriations bills. if you want to change the direction of the executive branch, then you've got to work -- you have to find a way to pass legislation that puts the president on notice he's going the wrong direction. we just had difficulty doing that. i mean we were frenetic in the , house. you all saw how productive we were in the house but it's just we couldn't really get that all the way through the article i branch and that was frustrating to many of us as conservatives
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in this country. >> i can imagine a situation in which that is not entirely ameliorating, the tension going forward, particularly when there's a president, and who knows what the tension is going to be between conservatives and the white house itself. going to be a big adventure. that leads me to my next question, is what advice have you been getting that you can tell us here in public to mark? >> well, first of all, i don't think i need to give very much advice to mark because mark is just wired right already. i hate to use that terminology, but i haven't told him that, but he's going to get the big head on this either, but you know, mark at his core is fundamentally conservative and he's a great leader. se that ter. i haven't told him that. don't get the big head on this either. but, you know, mark at his core is fundamentally conservative and a great leader and so i think he has all the tools in place. i guess the advice i would give
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to mark is the advice i'd give to any conservative. and that is, remember if we're fighting each other we're not fighting the true enemies of the hard working american families in this country that are suffering. and so we need -- we always need, when you decide that my conservative bill is better than yours, instead of trying to work together and figure out how you make it a common conservative bill or common conservative thing, that energy you're spending on doing that takes away from being able to achieve the objective of getting a thought fum, conservative solution across the finish line and on the president's desk and in the law so that you can improve the lives of again hard working american families. that's the advice i give him to make sure we are very careful to not let our r.s.c. conservatives fight among each other. make sure they've always got that north star to go out and try to touch all the time. >> factionalization can be a
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problem. in fact usually is a problem. what can we do about that? mr. brooks: i'll turn it over to mark walker for a second. a couple things you don't know about mark that i just learned myself. he is a trumpet player which i respect as a french horn player. it's important we all be brass players i believe. and also, is this right that you have an elvis impression that is well known on the hill? representative walker: i cannot confirm or deny at this point. i have to have two terms in before we go there. mr. brooks: we'll try to do this next time as outgoing chairman i'll get you liquored up and see what we can do with that. what do you see right now? you've been around, a member of r.s.c. and unyour way around the hill plenty well at this point. what are your top priorities for the republican study committee s the next chairman? representative walker. it is interesting how those have grown exponentially in the last 30 days. working we went from
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hard to throw legislation at the wall and hope it sticks to say listen we have a chance to push forward policy and laws that impact many generations. tax reform. how many decades have we been talking about tax reform? this administration has added another 8,000 pages of tax code relations -- regulations closing in on 75,000 pages. individuals and small businesses in the cross hairs of the i.r.s. they don't have a chance. we have good ideas and really still keep three major deductions. higher education, charitable giving but the mortgage interest rate deduction. keeping those three, simplifying the tax code. i think it's something that is a huge win that the american people would be, they have been clamoring for sometime. obviously without getting too much to a talking point the repeal of obama care. i enjoyed working with senator rubio as far as budget reconciliation. this is an opportunity to sink our teeth in very quickly and early on, mr. brooks.
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the reason why i think it is so important, what we do with that repeal, we want to make sure, i know there are arguments on cloture the 60 to 51. we have a standard and a chance to go after the heart of obama care even under reconciliation the 51 majority threshold. i think those two priorities are something we need to partner, lead out on the r.s.c. but hopefully partner with the whole conference to get done early in the spring. mr. brooks: terrific. sounds like you'll be pretty busy. do you think in fighting against factionalization do you think you can grow the size of the r.s.c. and bring in a lot of people? factionalization normally occurs when the other side is in the white house and you might be able to bring people together and more, probably a little bit more of a common theme. do you think growing r.s.c. is the way to do it? representative walker: i think it is a by product. it is not my first instinctive goal. i feel like if we do our job whether business politics, ministry, you do your job, then
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it fluctuates by itself as opposed to artificially trying to repeople in. that is our goal to try to attract them by the job we're doing not necessarily the marketing. mr. brooks: terrific. representative flores: sorry to jump in on this. the r.s.c. is not effective because of its size but because of the members that it has. and the ideas that they put forward. and how that they're willing to advocate for those ideas. not only at home among constituents but here among their colleagues, here among the outside groups, on the media and so forth. and so the r.s.c. today is at 178 members and i'm not sure that is really the right size. i think maybe a smaller r.s.c. would be possibly more effective. mr. brooks: price rationing here at aei. representative flores: what i'm trying so say is the size is not the important issue.
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i think mark hit it on the head. if we develop the right policies, the right strategies, then we'll have the right people as members to get the right thing done. mr. brooks: terrific. r.s.c. has traditionally been known as the conservative thinking coalition on the republican side of the house. but to the very many americans, a lot of people in this room are fairly sfiss kate in the factions that exist in the house. not factions in a bad way but different brands of the republican party on the house side. do the score card for the viewers at home. at this point they hear about the republican study committee, republicans and the republicans who are in leadership. and then the freedom caucases. and just sort of talk us through the different brands of republicanism these days on the house side. you want to start with that, mark? representative walker: i'd love to. what we're focused on is effective conservativism. mr. brooks: you mean r.s.c.
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representative walker: rsc. there is no reason we can't attract whether it's leadership, there are tuesday group members, another faction if you will. there is the right approach, the right policy. when [stand by -- audio difficulty]
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representative walker: we have we have an incredible moment to let our voices be heard. many times they are guilty of choir.ng to the the aspect or the goal should be how do we himget that into other places? sometimes it is by leading by relationship. whistles if i'm the salesman and i look at your used car and say that is the nastiest piece of
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automotive i've ever seen in my life there is automatically a defensive nature or flag that comes up. we've got to do better across the board as conservatives and i believe that really comes down to our messaging. that is what drove me to run for congress originally. we're going to stay consistent with that and i believe the r.s.c. provides an incredible place to exhibit that conservativism across the board whether in leadership or a aucus or in tuesday's group. representative flores: i have to agree. it's all the same thing. the right policy, the right approach. i like the way mark calls it the right voice which is very similar to what you tried to train us to do. you always talk about the conservative heart and how we don't do well in conservative messaging and so we've got to do it, got to have the right way to message the policies that the american people essentially voted for on november 8. so we've got to help articulate
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that and then have the policy underpinnings behind that. i believe the r.s.c. has the ability to do that. again, the membership today has a cross section like you said. it's not a mini conference. if you look at the average conservative scores of the r.s.c. it is way more conservative than the conference as a whole but we do have enough diversity that we have good, thoughtful ideas coming out of it that still drive the good, solid conservative solutions. mr. brooks: what i find really exciting is that there is going to continue to be a push and i know it is very important to -- bill, but continuing to i realize this looked like -- this was a 50/50 election. it was not the kind of wave you would say there are things going necessarily the republicans'
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republicans' way. this is not -- it doesn't look like permanent victory. the republicans are going to have to if they're going to be successful get the message into nontraditional communities to be sure. you mentioned priorities. the stuff the house can drive into the senate and get the reconciliation. repeal at least parts of obama care and what are the ontraditional things nontraditional things you're thinking about that will help represent the conservative republicans in a new way? basically conservative head, liberal heart. what do you do about that? representative walker: happy to take this. just yesterday we were able to bring in my staff and i and a couple other members bring in the top evangelicals from across the country and not just baptists like me but across the board, nondenominational guys. really people in different regions of the country talking about two things. immigration and race relations. because i believe the church has
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an opportunity not to erect a policy but partner with us on getting this message to fresh communities. i was privileged this pastime to be able to have two major endorsements in my area, two wonderful, life long democrats from african-american community, one lady has never had a republican yahrzeit -- yard sign up before. if you're willing to invest in that time, it allows you to speak on the topics and issues, the nontraditional topics. only builds the party, but there is little soil -- fertile soil. down in north is carolina among the minority community. but the kind with of how we
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share that message is crucial. if we come in with a strong arm aspect of lifeny when you start from an adversarial position, you limit your gain immediately. i think if we are going to look across the conference to talk about these nontraditional items, we have an incredible opportunity. >> mark is exactly right. our messaging has to go outside. we cannot just be on fox news all the time. we have to talk to msnbc and make the case about why american families that are struggling today are better off under an environment has a competitive tax system. how they are better off if we look at a new way to approach poverty. obamacarew the failed, and we have fresh ideas to deal with those issues and talk about why constitutionally limited government is better for the people.
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the government is taking less of liberties from the american people and giving it back to them and the government works for them, not against them. those are the things that resonate across any community. we have to reach into this communities and use whatever tools that we can find. it may be msnbc, and maybe guys who are hostile to interview with. we're got to do that and get outside our comfort zone to carry this thoughtful message to the american people. ornothing is more effective the conservative message or any han the then -- tah politics of persuasion. one of the great ways to do it the we have seen is to talk to people who are hostile. those who are watching our persuadable. they're the one to say, i just saw mark walker on msnbc, and no
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horns. who knows. and the elvis impersonation was incredible. >> i think you guys have addressed this. we encourage civil disagreement. that says it all. because what you're doing is you're going into environments, you not just taking your message to people who agree with you. when you think in that context, i believe give you an opportunity. >> going where you were not invited insane things able to expect. let talk about another faction, or another movement in conservatism, republicanism, it is hard to miss the populism. nobody knows how long that will persist, but that is the wave
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that propelled donald trump to the white house. i think we all understand what the phenomenon is but has some policy wrinkles. it is interesting from an rnc standpoint. there been stalwart on the concept of free trade. they have been restrictionist with regards to immigration, but not in the traditional standards. rnc as we went into the selection. mark, how are you going to take it up? >> if you look at what donald trump said about trade, he said it to get everybody's attention, and that is that nafta has hurt the american people. as he went along, it was sort of the hook to get people to listen. then as he went along, he went to the next up, which is, i will negotiate great trade deals.
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essentially what he is saying is we need fair trade deals. all we have to do is to make tpp,-- he's going to scrap fine with that. the next trade deal has to make sure we are taking care of america first. you can take care of america first in a way where the other side of the bargaining table does not lose. you can do this where everybody went as art of the process -- wins as part of the process. i think we know how to do that, but when it comes to immigration, i have a very conservative district in texas . they think it is find have a path to citizenship for dreamers. it is a conservative texas district.
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we are home to as many hispanics as any state in the country. the second thing they say is that they are fine with a path legal status for folks who came here illegally. they want the border secure before you do any of that. i think we go back to what resident trump said, build a wall. whether it is a physical wall or more of a virtual systems type wall. you make the american will feel comfortable and safe from people coming across the border, and then we can have a discussion about what you do with the folks who are here, the dreamers, and what you do with the folks who committed crimes. in a conservative district like -- you find aind way to have a policy that sounds liberal but it is not.
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i think it is good have a robust discussion about this and do the right thing. the offshoot of this is, you have people who are committed to the republican party forever. because you set down with them and engage them in a way where you did not make them your enemies. too often i think we as conservatives, soreness -- sort of as a populism, return off -- we turn off other groups. we'll have to do that. times i disappoint the legislative director when he gets into these policy rants. i mean by that, even though it is very valuable to have conference of policy, i am married to a nurse practitioner and does real work. if i'm in that situation where i
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am needing that attention, i don't really want to care or hear about the hippocratic oath or how many cc i'm going to need to make my pain go away, i just know there is a crises and i need help. we get into this policy only tism talk.alk -- eli i can remember attending the republican national convention in 2012, i was not a delicate, i just was looking around. one of the things i noticed was this great lip service, and genuine intentionality toward different areas. and then when they finish, it was put your hands together for the oak ridge boys your -- boys.
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what they were doing and what they were saying was a contrast. sure as wemake talked the american people that we are able to do, not these condescending terms of political greek and latin, but be able to say, we understand your hurting, we are point a, we need to get to point b. i believe we can do that and we might see some things we have not seen in generations. your nuanced approach to the immigration issue in particular is interesting. being a think tank of the republican party is a great role. it is not were policy goes to die. i guess i just insinuated that about the senate.
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happen.an i love the spirit of policy experimentation, but you are talking about approach that is nontraditional. it does not fit on a bumper sticker about a wall. it does not treat all immigrants, even illegal immigrants as equal to one another. i love that and think it is important and i think it represents the relatively nuanced views of your constituents. that leads to my next question which is, as the experimenting for the republican party, what is your view on continuing to do that? there is been a real complaint about the separations of powers lately. congresst to which, should continue to be congress, and your nuanced views should take presidents where the cost to she designates that. how is the approach going to change? when the republicans controlled the house of representatives and senate, it was kind of easy to
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talk about the problems of the imperiled presidency when obama was using the phone as issuing executive orders. what happens when the president is in your party? >> i think we all agree that some of president trumps ies are not going to line up with our conservative policies. with respect to that, what i would like to do, and if i had absolute control over the agenda in the house, and i do not, but what i would do is try to say, where the areas where we have good alignment with where president trump wants to go and where we want to go, and let say we will take the lead on this. we will give him the legislative, constitutional support to go forward so he is not inclined to use the pen. early on in the election
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process, he said he would use executive orders to do this, this and this. to saw him beginning ameliorate those views and soften them, i think his .dvisers work were telling him the way to make him feel couples that is saying this is a we agree. let's repeal and replace obamacare. let's rebuild border security. and in those areas where his agenda is not exactly lined -- aligned with ours, we can take six months to do the things where we agree and that gives us the next six months to find the commonality between what he wants to do with respect infrastructure and what we think would be the way to go. just as one example. i think that's what we need to
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do. then we will figure out how to deal with it. the american people know they are getting something for the vote they made last month. and we will figure out the rest in the next six months. >> on the 80% concept of ronald , when he talked about that, it was interesting, he was not talking about just the 80% of republicans agreeing, he was talking about the 80% of republicans and democrats agree on. mark, what is your view on the most likely ways where you can make some new friends on the other side of the? -- the aisle? >> it has to be genuine. one of the things that we were able to do early on, and from what we understand it was the first time we do this in
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congress, we launched a bipartisan internship program and reached out to dr. al my adams.- dr. alma i think the way to do that, you have to take the lead, and not in a way where you are attacking or trying to show up the opposition, but say, this is an area, not just the lip service aspect, literally intentional action steps you can take your that is one of them. it is an environment where the outside groups or other entities , press, you name it, we are in this boxing ring and we are having to dodge, bob and we ave. the place were that can develop most is the local level. it augments and spreads out more. it does to -- does not the lenny
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eight us to make a responsibility wherever we can. whether you are going out together or whatever it might be, it is an opportunity. one of the key things that has caused bitterness between republicans and democrats is obamacare. no specific piece of legislation has been more divisive. in 2008, when president obama won and promised to do that and 2009 when he pushed it through on a strict partyline vote, i was a little naive on politics and i remember thinking, boys, should leave a little something for republicans. they did not. lost,aid, i one, you straight partyline vote.
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the she was on the other foot. i have some friends who cannot believe their life's work is about to be repealed and replaced. is there a lesson we can learn from that? is her way we can at least attenuate some of the hostility from the other side, and maybe not make allies but make less implacable foes? >> you want to go first? think -- i think my parents were raised in fans,a, huge crimson tide and the coach said this, in six national attention -- championships, lose with grace
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and win with humility. that is what i thought of. we don't have despite the football. ike the football. long-term goal? there is a moment where we are we cannd we are winning, go out and attack, or we can say, let's revisit some of this. that is a little bit of a pollyanna viewpoint, but i believe it is a big win for us. >> well, the way i would look at it, let's go back to the core issue, what will the democrats try to do with obamacare? they were trying to increase access and improve affordability. it failed. absolutely failed. one of the reasons it failed is because they ignored all the ideas that our side of the aisle had. i will tell you some of my colleagues in congress are very bitter about the fact that they got totally shut out of the process. and so when we're looking at the
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replacement for obamacare, we need to think, what are the two things we need? we need to increase access and improve affordability. and you have a couple secondary issues you have to do with like what do you do with those with pre-existing conditions. if our goal is to achieve those three objectives, then i think we ought to, it behooves us to reach across the aisle. there may be a good idea in there, there may not, but go ahead and include them in the process. as long as they're acting in good faith, i would say continue the discussions. if they don't act in good faith, if everything is designed to be a poison pill amendment, if that's the case, warn them, look, are you with us in trying to increase access and improve affordability? then let's sit down and do this. if you're not, if you're just there to make political points or poison pill amendments, then we're going to slam the door on you. but i would, even though they were not -- they didn't treat us
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this way, i would extend the olive branch and give them a chance. i'm not very optimistic they would do that, but give them an opportunity so at least, and do it on c-span, so the american people can see at least we gave them the chance to be part of the process, and they elected to not be part of the process. the political games, and hopefully they'll understand that obamacare was probably the thing that cost them the majority in 2010. >> there's two possible wins here. one is most people would agree the patient should make the decision regarding health care. and two, i believe something that is very crucial is the amount of democrats that are hearing from small businesses of what the obamacare mandates are doing to those businesses. that gives us a major opportunity. i want to add a third one, and scott ferguson and i were talking about this the other day, the executive director. one of the first guests of rsc, we may bring in bill clinton to speak about the ills of obamacare. maybe he can share -- >> he was great on the campaign
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trail. >> incredible. >> we're going to turn to the audience now. a few really good questions here coming in from my ipad. but we'll start actually here right in the back, and then we're going to go to the ipad. why don't you wait for the mike and then tell us your affiliation and your name. >> hello. excuse me. hi, i'm madeleine. i'm from the center for american progress. my question is for representative walker. you mentioned that you met recently in response to the question about the nontraditional priorities of the republican study committee. i'm wondering what specific message should the church get out on the issue and how is that related to the priorities of the republican study committee? >> lovely question. one of the pastors were concerned they have a church of several thousand attendees on a sunday morning, and one of their church plants is in a hispanic community. he said we were talking the
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other day about putting people on the elder or deacon board. we realized we had 200 undocumented people and we were wrestling with the fact, should we allow them to serve in the deacon board. the problem with sometimes the republican talking points, every time we talk about this, secure the border, secure the border, secure the border. we can't talk about that. we have to secure the border. yes, we have to secure the border first, but we cannot ignore the situation long term. what are our solutions? as opposed to saying we'll figure that out once we secure the border, maybe it's time for republicans to be proactive instead of reactionary, and i think to your specific, the heart of your question, that's where some of the evangelicals, as we saw even in the primary, the presidential primary, 16 of the first 24 states, evangelicals drove those primary votes. these are issues that are very important to us. and that's a place where i believe we can partner with the humanitarian, the compassionate side of the church to offer long-term solutions.
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>> i see my colleague robert out in the audience here, and he runs our poverty practice, which is critically important to us here. something we invested in tremendously, and i know the two of you care about this, too, because i talked to the two of you about this particular issue. what can we see that's new among conservative republicans in trying to ameliorate poverty? this is sadly a question that didn't come up very much during the campaign, yet american poverty has become extremely entrenched, particularly over the past eight years. if we're going to make progress on it over the next four years, the ideas are really going to have to come at least in part come from the house side. what kind of encouragement can you give us that we're going to see some big new thinking about helping our brothers and sisters who are still falling below the poverty line in this country? >> well, i think -- i think we're going to see some really bold transformational thinking
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on this. i mean if you look at the better way agenda that we created in the house, that represents the thinking that we did. and a big, a big percentage of that -- of those policy solutions were developed by rsc membership. we had a few members in particular that were passionate about this issue, and we went out and we talked to the communities that are stuck in poverty. we said, what is it? you don't like stuck in poverty. we said what is it? you don't like being here. what is it that you want or need? we looked at it from a totally different way, than the poverty programs today are designed. the poverty programs are measured based on the input. how many billions of dollars a year do you spend? how many people do you give food stamps to, housing assistance to? they never judged the outcome. instead of getting you equipped
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and ready to go to work. and sometimes you are disinsentivized to go to work. we turned it on its head and said we're going to help you get the training that you need. we're going to make sure you're always better off to have a job and grab the rung on the economic ladder and not get stuck in poverty. of all the things that could change the country, you could eliminate a big chunk of the sort of permanent underclass if we can start looking at poverty a different way and view it as it is is designed to get people out of poverty, not to help them stay in poverty. that's the problem with the programs you have today. once you're in them, it's hard to the got out. for instance, if you're on
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welfare and you get married, your benefits are cut. so you destroy the family. and when you destroy the family, your chances of getting out of poverty are diminished even further. so we have to do things that protect the family and not destroy the family as part of the way we look at dealing with this issue. >> i jump right in to general poverty and talk about the family. everything that we can do, reform, anything we can do to drive that family back together. you go back to the 1960s. across the board, our families were intact more than any of the time. now in places it is less than 20%. if a family is productive, they are overcoming poverty. we see that in the breakdown of the family. it is is cultural, spiritual, in my opinion. we need to drive the fathers, the men to be able to create a pathway for the family to be intact as much as we can. not to put incentives in our
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laws, as bill just talked about, to keep people separated, to people to not have the structured family. that's an area we have plenty of room. >> i dont hear with even a hint of hostility, which is is sort of remarkable from an american perspective who think they know what conservatives are, your pro safety net conservatives, but you want welfare with work and welfare with dignity. >> the safety net needs to be more of a trampoline. we catch you when you fall. we bounce you on your feet and help you get a job and raise a healthy family. the best social program to any family is a paycheck and a great job to support it. that's how you feed that family, house that family, educate the family, grow your local tax base, grow the middleclass. that's what we need to help bounce back to up on their feet.
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>> to go into various communities and talk about the fact that god has created you with specific skills, talents, and abilities that are unique to your very person. and because of that, you have every right, every opportunity to flourish, to find a pathway. and to see that resonate for the first time is incredibly rewarding. those are the messages we need to talk about from a conservative thought process and not one of condemnation. >> up to the periphery, not of society but of our conference room. and the mike is coming to you now. >> congrats to aei on the new digs. >> thanks. >> thanks. >> very impressive. >> rather remarkable during the campaign, there was no
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discussion about title reform. what are you planning to do to drive much needed solutions in that area? >> do you want to go first? >> i'll go first. >> 1967-68 you have mandatory. you have discretionary. the late 1960s we had about 26% or 27% mandatory and 73% or 74% discretionary spending. what is discretionary? it is what the government should be focused on. infrastructure, military defense et cetera. and what is mandatory? it is is two things, entitles and interest is on the national debt. since that time it is inverted. by 2023-24 it will have grown to 80% mandatory and 20% discretionary. it is a national security issue at some point. we have seen the cutbacks trying to take from the military defense and trying to put in other places. we will have to do hard decision
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making when it comes to the entitlement side. a few bills are passing around. we couldn't get it down in the past eight years. but those are things -- you're correct. it wasn't talked much about the campaign. members of congress on the legislative side. we are doing a disservice to the generations behind us. >> and i would like to channel this. if you really want to the see how we have looked at this from an r is se perspective, go look at the budgets we have proposed the last six years that i have been in congress. since we have had a republican majority. if you look at the rsc budgets they have been much, much more conservative than the house budgets as a whole. and we haven't been timid about touching the so-called third rails. we have touched medicaid, medicare, social security. not with the view toward cutting them but with view of making
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them sustainable. and stopping the generational threat. is millenial generation being robbed by older generations. we have to stop that. our budgets, particularly the last two, which made social security solvent, medicare solvent, and medicaid solvent are the ways that we should do the that. we as conservatives in the house have not forgotten about that. we have actually put it in writing and we withstood the political fallout that comes from putting these aggressive decisions on the table. some worked their way into house budgets. i remember my first year on the budget committee touched medicaid and medicare. the rsc were balancing. so the second budget balanced in
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10. and the house budget -- we as the rsc have continued to pus h the conference to the right but in a way that doesn't blow up the programs. that's the first thing the other side says. you're taking food from babies, throwing granny over the cliff. and we are proving what is happening today is we are taking the food away from babies from future generations is and granny will be thrown over the cliff when these programs fail anyway. we made them sustainable for current generations. we are aggressive in touching the third rail. >> it is an interesting point. it did not come up as a matter of republican politics during this campaign. is it fair to say to say this is an area where rsc will show resolute independence notwithstanding any other part of where the holding party goes? >> yes.
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mark will definitely have is to answer on this as well. we're going to show independence, particularly i think from the present. this is where there is daylight between the president-elect and us. because he wants to spend trillions on infrastructure. he says we're not going to touch entitlements. and not touching entitlements damages his ability ultimately to be a successful president. because we're not going to be able to afford national defense, building the virtual wall, the physical wall, whatever it is he wants to do. so we're going to have to have a heart-to-heart with him. we have to sit down and have a rational conversation about this. and the thing about the president-elect, if you look at his behavior the last three weeks i think he has shown he is willing to sit down and talk to people with diverse viewpoints on this. we will be very challenging. it won't be me.
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it will be mark. if mark wants me there, i will be there for him. >> do you want to add anything? >> we may have to push back on this even on leadership, there is excessive spending. that's where it sometimes gets a little sticky. china owes a trillion dollars of national debt. now is the opportunity to do so. >> that's a good place to leave it. on a mark of independence, principle. we have talked really where the conservative part is with these gentlemen. i speak on behalf of of my colleagues. you always at home here. great to share resources and ideas that really go beyond partisanship and the principle who we are. please join me in thanking our two guests mark and bill from the rsc. [applause]
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>> c-span's washington journal's live every day with the and policy issues that impact you. coming up this morning, alliance for america president scott paul on trump's campaign promise to keep manufacturing jobs in the u.s.. included the recent deal with carrier to keep 1000 jobs in indiana. at the future of u.s. and cuba relations and a trumpet administration post fidel castro. a boston university professor discusses a new report looking at the safety of young people of color and what impact a lack of access to overall support an opportunity has on them.
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c-span's washington journal's life beginning at 7:00 a.m. this morning. join the discussion. >> united nations will have a new secretary-general in january when former prime minister of portugal takes office. president obama welcome the secretary general designate to the oval office on friday and spoke to reporters shortly before their closed-door meeting. president obama: this is a great pleasure for me to welcome the toretary general designate the oval office. he will be assuming a poster has enormousthat influence around the world. the good news is that he has an extraordinary reputation as someone who has led
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multi-lateral organizations at the highest level and is done so in ways that everybody recognizes has been extraordinarily effective most recently his work with the un high commission on refugees has its applauded for effectiveness and capability to really concretely help people who are an extraordinary need. us fact that i think all of were pleasantly surprised by how achieved consensus was around his designation signifies the respect in which he is held all around the world. from the perspective of the united states, the u.n. is a partner inrt in --
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almost everything we do. it is a linchpin of the post-world war ii order and to democratic and republican administrations our partnership with the united nations has allowed us to help resolve to provide assistance where it is sorely needed to tackle big transnational andlems like refugee flows more recently like climate change. at a time when those challenges are mounted, and it was great uncertainty around the world, having an effective partner in the united nations secretary-general will be critical. this meeting gives us an opportunity to share ideas about where the secretary general designate intends to take the
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u.n. and how the that it states can or can effectively with him. i have emphasized to the current how importantral the united states considers the u.n.. also, how important it is we believe to make sure that the u.n. operates efficiently and that money is well spent and we are doing everything we can to initiate the kinds of effective management practices that mr. gutierrez is known for. we all have to be pinching pennies and concerned worldthe needs around the without stripping our resources the work we do in the u.n. is effective and concrete. it is also a form for debate. i hope and have great confidence that our soon-to-be secretary-general will be able be an extraordinary effective
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leader of that organization. the united states look forward to working with him so congratulations and good luck. >> thank you very much, mr. president. myvisit also to express social commitments to work closely with the united states with the present administration and the next administration. multiple complex -- conflicts. the multinational community has lost capacity to prevent of those. on the other hand, globalization has been an extremely important rise in economic growth. it is also left people behind. this is been the cause of unrest and instability in many parts of the world. the human rights agenda that is so dear to us all we also see many difficulties with national
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sovereignty sometimes tends to make it difficult for human rights. i believe that the leadership of the united states is absolutely crucial. in all these areas i believe we need a u.n. that is more effective and more able to serve people. very strong reform minded approach. i want to pursue that objective to make sure that the u.n. can be a positive partner. president obama: thank you again, congratulations. they give so much everybody. thank you guys. thank you everybody.
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>> c-span, where history unfolds daily. 19 79, c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies and is brought to you today by your cable or satellite provider. >> a former russian political persona recently shared his thoughts on russian president vladimir putin and the future of u.s. and russia relations when he spoke at a forum hosted by the new york times. this is half an hour. >> thank you ladies and gentlemen. my grim task after this inspiring talks about the empowerment of everybody in the new world is to bring us back to the reality of president trump,
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president putin's expansionism a , great deal of global tensions in the worldwide growth of the rightist movement. i am joined by a fierce opponent of president putin, a former chief executive of a dismembered oil corporation and russia, who spent 10 years in jail. on charges that an international court has found to be utterly without foundation. maybe i could start with -- you, like others have observed this curious friendship and sympathy between president-elect donald trump and president vladimir putin. what is this friendship about? is it about power, money, testosterone? what is this about? how dangerous or menacing is it for the world?
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>> [speaking russian] >> putin has experienced being friendly with billionaires. both russian ones and non-russian ones. >> [speaking russian] >> i, to, and curious about what he finds in his conversations. >> putin is a billionaire himself, right? >> but he denies this. a former kgb agent and a billionaire. i don't know. it is possible. >> [speaking russian]
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>> to speak seriously, putin is a person that by virtue of his profession knows how to create relationships with people. he orients himself very precisely to a person. if he wants you to like him, you will like him. especially if you have a weakness when you like it when people say nice things about you. many people have that weakness. >> how dangerous might this relationship the? -- be? we have seen president putin's expansionism.
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whether it is annexing crimea or in the ukraine dictating the , and game in syria through military means, something we were told in the united states was not possible to do. there are lots of dangers. guest: [speaking russian] translator: i don't think putin is in a simple position right now. things are not going that well inside the country. he has always had a simple explanation for that -- there's this enemy, america. everything that is bad is america's fault. people joke about it, if they
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say your doorstep has mud on it, it is obama's fault. if putin put his stakes on hillary winning. >> but he backed the donald trump. >> yet he was counting on hillary winning. moderator: how do you know? guest: [speaking russian] translator: what is important is in this situation, everything is quite simple. we have the enemy. moderator: do you think he's quietly unhappy about donald trump's victory? guest: [speaking russian] translator: his inner circle is happy about it.
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you may have heard when trump won the state duma, he was given a standing ovation. but i don't think he is particularly happy with the results because now he still needs to make america into the enemy but it's going to be more difficult. moderator: because internally the russian economic situation is very bad and is facing sanctions? -- after the implication of sanctions? guest: [speaking russian] translator: i would not say it is because of the sanctions. that's 10%. 50% is the drop in oil prices and the rest is poor management of the country.
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but it wouldn't be a good idea for the president to tell people your standard of living have been falling because i'm an ineffective manager. you area -- definitely not. he was asked if he has any regrets. he said, "no, i have done everything just fine." moderator: let me be blunt. i'm sure the audience will like to know the answer. we had the question yesterday about how dangerous is the
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proximity of president-elect trump's finger to the nuclear button. we got the long answer. which in essence, there are lots of stages that have to be gone through before you can press that button. basically, it would take some major conflict in the next four years. are you worried about some -- if not global, some major war breaking out? mikhail: [speaking russian] translator: i don't even want to joke about that topic. i truly am afraid. putin is used to being the only unpredictable player on the playing field.
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now, there is a second one. and in terms of his opportunity, what he is capable of -- he is the number one player. moderator: you are worried? mikhail: [speaking russian] translator: yes. i am very afraid that, if putin continues to play the way he has been playing in the past, we will be closer to such a conflict. moderator: where do you think that conflict could erupt? what will be the catalyst? mikhail: [speaking russian] translator: something that is the most unpredictable. some would say a flyover over an american frigate.
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it has been said 100 times over, this.t do it is idiotic." and yet, they still keep doing it. moderator: you are the founder of open russia. you want to change russia and get away from this nationalism/imperialism of president putin. look, putin is ascendant. a little while ago, president obama called russia a regional power. now, he calls it a major military power. we have seen over the last few years putin really moving center stage after a period of strategic decline at the end of the cold war. do you feel you are losing power? what can you build upon in terms
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of creating a more accountable, transparent, and democratic russia that is closer to the west? argue engaged in a losing battle engaged in a losing battle? mikhail: [speaking russian] translator: this is the difference between the picture on the wall and the room in which you actually live. i think most russians would say they would like to see better roads, better health care, and better education in the country. rather than some kind of achievements in syria.
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most regrettably, putin is asking the russian people to pay for this picture on the wall at a time when they, in a very real way, don't have enough money. moderator: he is very popular. mikhail: [speaking russian] translator: your russian colleagues do their jobs very well. [laughter] moderator: that job is very different from mine, i hope. seriously, he has muzzled tv. he has thrown out pretty much a lot of ngos.
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resistance to him has been crumbling. what are not get is -- your building blocks? a lot of the resistance outside of russia is not even in a country. -- a lot of the resistance is outside of russia. it is not even in the country. are you some kind of quixotic dreamer? mikhail: [speaking russian] translator: my colleagues and i have the experience of the past 150 years behind us. which showed that authoritarian regimes in the 20th century were already not viable. they live for a while and then they die.
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we see that, in nearly 20 years of rule, putin has pretty much destroyed all institutions of state. what we are very concerned about is -- once he does go, the situation needs to improve very quickly, not slowly. moderator: "once he does go," you actually envision that? guest: [speaking russian] translator: i do assume putin will leave before 2024. moderator: 2024? that's eight years from now. translator: he is a legalist. he has given himself two, six-year terms. i think he takes that seriously. moderator: can he come up with
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another medvedev type stand-in? mikhail: [speaking russian] translator: as of today, he has closed off such an opportunity. of course, he can change everything, but he can't change the country. that means everything will end both beforehand in the country -- and the country that much worse. he really has no nice way out at all. after 2011, when he finished his back and forth with medvedev.
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moderator: don't you feel -- a quarter century ago, at the end of the cold war, many assumed the victory of liberal democracy -- some people even pronounced the end of history. what we seem to be seeing right now is the rise of food to autocratic models. we have a president-elect right now that many view as a demigod. they feel we are actually going away right now where the national front is. this paradox of increasing interconnectedness and nationalism emerging from growing anger. don't you feel historical drift? something moving away from your convictions? mikhail: [speaking russian] translator: i have my view of this problem.
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i think we have gotten too fixated on building institutions that reflect public opinion. you cannot follow society blindly. you need to take society's opinion into account, but you should not just be parroting it blindly. people have begun to feel they are lacking political leadership. and because the traditional parties have stopped offering them this political leadership, they have started looking for
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political leadership where it has always been -- out on the fringes. society has a demand for political leadership and the traditional parties have stopped supplying it. moderator: let me ask you a personal question. what does 10 years in prison do to somebody? how have you changed? mikhail: [speaking russian] translator: 10 years is a long time. i changed in this time, because i got 10 years older. i began to better understand people whom i had never even associated with before. this is important, because i understand the russian power better today because of that.
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the psychology of the people in power in russia is very similar to the psychology of the people i spent 10 years with. i spent all my life working in business, but 10 years in jail beat any interest in business out of me. i continue to believe this is an important aspect of human life. but i discovered human life consists of a lot of other things as well, which i had managed to forget about. moderator: a cynic might say you
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can afford to not be in business any longer. mikhail: [speaking russian] translator: this is one of the advantages i have, yes. moderator: did your values change? mikhail: [speaking russian] translator: i think they started changing somewhat before that. this one of the reasons huge conflict between who didn't and i occurred in the first place. and i occurredn in the first place. we had a split on values. his values remain the same, and mine have changed. moderator: what do you do with your anger? mikhail: [speaking russian] translator: i didn't have any.
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moderator: you were jailed on totally trumped up charges -- sorry to use that word. [laughter] mikhail: [speaking russian] translator: that's an interesting question. -- sorry, that was an interesting experience. it's a part of my life. i can't say i fell in love with putin. i'm not saying i have forgotten or will forget i lost 10 years of my and my family's life. i don't think about that.
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in fact, i don't think about putin all that much until i come to america. because in america, people ask me about putin a lot for some reason. [laughter] moderator: i'm going to throw this open in a minute. be ready with your questions. do you fear for the united states of america right now? mikhail: [speaking russian] translator: i would say i'm finding it interesting. moderator: along with the rest of us. [laughter] mikhail: [speaking russian] translator: i had a meeting with some specialists in the political area here, and they
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said they wish they had as much faith in the american political system as i seem to. moderator: what do you think of the economic or business opportunities in russia right now? a lot of these people come from the fashion luxury businesses. businessesther represented, such as technology. if you were investing in russia today -- and in the past, you have proved a wily investor -- what would you invest in? mikhail: [speaking russian] translator: there is a big risk. big possible profit though. i would probably invest in retail. moderator: online retail? mikhail: [speaking russian]
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translator: any field that doesn't require big capital investments. because i know there are no institutional guarantees. there's no guarantee of property ownership. you need to dive in, play your game, and dive out. moderator: now, i will take a couple of questions. any questions? yes, sir. if you could grab a microphone, please. >> [inaudible]
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mikhail: [speaking russian] translator: if something were to happen to him today, the next leader of the country would be negative -- i would hope putin would have the brains and the courage to hold a constituent assembly to write a new constitutional order. after this, a transition period would be required. some 24 months, approximately. during which political reform would need to take place and
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grounds for free and fair elections. after that, after the free and fair elections, the person who would be elected would be somebody who in your terminology would be a left social democrat. moderator: your hand was up. the microphone, please. >> if putin hangs around for another eight years, what is the role you see for russia politically and economically? mikhail: [speaking russian] translator: i think russia has very great potential irrespective of putin.
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like it or not, it is the biggest country in europe. both in territory and in population. at any rate, russia is going to play a big role on the european continent. as for the economic side of it, we know from the experience of germany after world war ii that any crisis which takes several decades to resolve. moderator: thank you very much. [applause] [captioning performed by the
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national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> every weekday, book tv brings you a look at new books and authors. tonight, m.i.t. film and media "open to, author of ate," will discuss how he opened arguments outside his circle which made him a strong pungent. seemed like a particularly important time to talk about a show that really valued civil discourse and debate the between to that disagreed with each other. >> the anniversary of the attack on pearl harbor will be the topic of discussion. we will take your phone calls, tweets, and enough questions from noon to 3:00 p.m. eastern.
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after that, senator george the israeliks at -palestinian conflict in his new book. he is interviewed by jane harman, president and ceo of the woodrow wilson center. have long since renounced violence, accepted 's existence, and advocated for peaceful negotiation. >> in the case of jennings versus rodriguez, the supreme court will decide how long illegal immigrants can be held in detention before a waiting deportation hearings. oral arguments on wednesday. this is just over an hour.
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>> at the same time they address real concerns about recidivism and flight risks for certain categories of criminal error aliens that criminal aliens -- criminal aliens and aliens wishing to reach our shores. the ninth circuit decision is a serious misuse of the constitution's avoidance canon. even the ninth circuit recognized that the statute is constitutional in a fast majority of applications.
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with respect to criminal aliens, the text of the statute forecloses the ninth circuit's approach. it is constitutional. the decision of the ninth undermines dhs enforcement priorities, and it creates incentives for aliens to delay their removal proceedings. [indiscernible] they are not people that have committed qualifying criminal offenses. >> for those individuals, they have had bond hearings or have
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often had bond hearings. so, we are talking about individuals that have had bond hearings and have been denied or -- >> what would be the constitutional entitlement to keeping those people if they are not a white risk or a risk to the safety of the country? the constitutional entitlement, arbitrarily, to keep someone guilty of the things? >> those are individuals that have had on hearings and have been denied, or have been unable to post bond. their requirement we are concerned about is the burden of proof to show by clear and convincing evidence every six months that they are not a flight risk or not likely to recidivate.
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the -- what are have the people in that category done to make them subject of removal? [indiscernible] think thenor, i government's practice is to provide bond hearings institute -- consistent with the statute. so, those are people that have had bond hearings -- we do provide them there. that they question may be individuals that have entered illegally, but they have not committed the kinds of crimes that would make them thatsible or deportable the types of crimes for
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mandatory detention. for that class, we are objecting , principally, to the clear and convincing evidence standard. we do not think the ninth circuit had any statute in adopting. >> it is clear and convincing to show the public danger, but only by a preponderance of evidence to show a flight risk. >> your honor, it does vary by the type of crime. in some cases, it is the criminal the has to show by preponderance that he is not likely to recidivate or be a flight risk. in some cases, the government bears the burden of clear and convincing evidence. >> i think not for flight risk. >> that might be right, your honor. >> to clarify the question, an alien found in the united states
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whatot been admitted -- statute are they held under? detainedy are not within 100 miles of the border or within 14 days, then they are -26-a.12 would existof these not knowlien -- i do how many of these would exist, -- how many billions would they would still be held under -- 12-25? 12-20
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next they would be held under 12-26-a. an alien talking about that has entered into the united states illegally, it has taken up residence 50 miles from the border. 12-26-a.re held under they have a bond hearing. >> let me finish my question. earlier, he said you were objecting to the burden of proof. are you objecting to the concept that prolonged detention without reason is not appropriate for these aliens? >> your honor, we believe -- >> and regards to them being white risk or danger. >> the statutory scheme gives them an initial bond hearing,
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and would allow them by justice sotomayor: except that that bond hearing, that additional regulation says that the length of detention is not one of the factors that justifies reconsideration. general gershengorn: that's correct, your honor, under our - 24 justice sotomayor: and so if these are people who have been here for decades, let's say, don't you think due process would require some periodic review to ensure that these people are properly being held? general gershengorn: so, your honor, we don't think that. but two things: first of all, the
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ninth circuit went beyond that and -- and -- and imposed a clear and convincing evidence standard which we think really does materially change the calculus and change the government's burden there; and, second, we do think that the initial bond hearing in conjunction with the - with the opportunity to bring forth changed circumstances -- and that may be -- that could be - justice sotomayor: except that regulations are saying that you don't consider the length of 14 detention. but that's what a judge does in bail hearings. that's what a judge does in almost every other detention, which is, at a certain point, your -
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your calculus changes, the balance changes when the detention becomes unreasonable. general gershengorn: your honor, so if i can - justice sotomayor: the length of detention becomes unreasonable. general gershengorn: yeah. if i could step back. we do think that the way to think about the case for -- for the people who are not in the arriving aliens category is that the -- as long -- what -- what the court said in demore, and i think this is the focus of justice kennedy's concurrence in demore, that if the purpose of detention is being served, that the government is moving reason -- reasonably quickly to -
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to accomplish removal, and so that we are not in a zadvydas situation where the end of the government detention can't be observed, then the -- then absent - absent very unusual circumstances, that -- that detention is constitutional. and so we do think that - we do think that the scheme we have in place for the 1226(a) individuals that your honor is identifying is constitutional. 14 i will say that hasn't - 15 justice kagan: may i ask, general -- i'm sorry. 17 general gershengorn: no, your honor, i was 18 going to shift to something else. justice kagan: i was going to shift to something else too. general gershengorn: let's do it. justice kagan: let's -- let's shift to 23 1226(c). general gershengorn: okay. justice kagan: and not focus on the statute so much but focus on the constitutional question, and i think your brief indicates that you think that there are some constitutional bounds, and
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so i'd like you to talk to me about what those constitutional bounds are and - and when a judge would find them. general gershengorn: so, your honor, we think the constitutional bound is -- is the standard that justice kennedy's concurrence set forth in demore, and we think it is that where there be, as -- as he said there -- were there to be an unreasonable delay by the government -- he said the ins, but by the government in pursuing and completing deportation proceedings, it could become necessary, then, to inquire whether the purpose of detention is not to facilitate deportation but for some other reason. so it seems to us that the analysis that a court would undertake is, has there been some sort of unusual situation or misconduct on the part of the government or delay on the part of the government that suggests the purpose of detention was not to effectuate removal, but as long as - justice kagan: what happens if -- what happens if you can't point to any particular evidence of
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government misconduct, but that you're in a situation where the government just has very, very big backlogs and everything is taking a long time? so let's say the average would be that the government wouldn't make a decision for three years. could the court simply say, well, three years is too long? it doesn't really matter what kind of evidence you have; three years is too long. general gershengorn: so, your honor, i -- i think our position in that -- in that situation would be that as long as the government was diligently -- we -- i 9 mean, if it were 20 years, i mean, we could go on, then, of course, that might be a concern that, in fact, we 11 were no longer trying to effectuate removal. i think we would make the argument in the a three years your honor was hypothesizing, but that's not the situation we have
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here. it's been steady - justice breyer: right. that's -- that's - right there you said, of course, 20 years, dot, dot, as soon as you utter words like that, you are outside. and it's in conceding, i take it, that where it says, the ag may release an alien described in paragraph 1, these are the criminal ones. general gershengorn: this is 1226(a). justice breyer: this is 1226(2). it's (c)(2). general gershengorn: i'm sorry - justice breyer: the words that are strongest for you, in my opinion, are those words, "only if." general gershengorn: yes. justice breyer: "only if." general gershengorn: correct, and - justice breyer: only if the witness program. now, you're saying, well, it's not really only
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if. there are exceptional circumstances where he has been there for 20 years and we haven't started the removal proceeding, or let's say he has an emergency operation, has to be in the hospital, we all can exercise our wonderful legal imaginations and think of weird instances where it's going to prove that "only if" isn't literally "only if" witness. general gershengorn: so, your honor, i want to be clear about what i'm saying there. i don't think the attorney general has discretion to release in a situation i was just discussing with justice kagan. justice breyer: no. i knew that. i know that. general gershengorn: i think that's a constitutional requirement. in other words, due process would be implicated at that -- at that point. so i'm not saying that at some point the attorney general has discretion to release. the statute is mandatory, and we read the the statute - justice breyer: it says "only if." only if
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you go to the witness program. general gershengorn: correct. justice breyer: but my point was, and you did it accidentally but on purpose. you said, well, 20 years would be different, and -- and - general gershengorn: i did it -- to be clear, your honor, i did it as a matter of constitutional law. justice breyer: why? why do it as a matter -- why not just say - general gershengorn: because we don't - justice breyer: -- like all -- many type same things in the law, words like "any" or "only if" 16 are always interpreted in light of unusual circumstances, not being absolute and you get something unusual. general gershengorn: right. justice breyer: okay. now, why not do that rather than appeal to the constitution? that may be a picky point, but -- but one - general gershengorn: but i think it's important. justice kagan: the one -- that's --
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general gershengorn: justice kagan - justice kagan: -- i asked about it. general gershengorn: i was just going to say, justice kagan had asked me to set aside the statute, so it really was a constitutional analysis. justice breyer: yes. general gershengorn: and we don't -- we 8 really think that congress -- this was a deliberate categorical judgment by congress based on experience over a long number of years where congress had tried to 11 deal with the concerns about recidivism and flight for criminal aliens through a number of different mechanisms. and what congress found was that -- that it was very hard to predict and it had very serious consequences, and congress opted for a categorical 16 judgment. 17 chief justice roberts: i suppose it's an area where your safety valve, the availability of habeas corpus might come into play.. general gershengorn: absolutely, your honor. and i think that goes into the interpretation of constitutional avoidance, both with respect to criminal aliens and arriving aliens. what congress understood
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was that it was legislating against the backdrop of habeas, which provides the kind of failsafe that justice kennedy had identified in demore. and, therefore, congress legislated on an absolute -- with absolute text, and that doesn't admit for the kind of exceptions that i think your honor is pressing. i understand - justice kagan: but if i could go back, general, to the constitutional point. because if you put demore aside, i think we would all look at our precedent and we would say, you can't just lock people up without any finding of dangerousness, without any finding of flight risk, for an indefinite period of time, and not run into due process. now, you have demore, but demore was based on the assumption that it was going to be a brief time. it was based on statistics that have now proved to be inaccurate. and the question is, why the constitution itself -- and you can do it through habeas proceedings or whatever the procedure is -- but why the constitution
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itself does not set an outer bound in the way that we've consistently required in, for example, civil commitment cases? general gershengorn: all right. so, your honor, you've packed a lot in there, and i'd like to - i'd like to take on a number of things there. but the answer to your last question is that i don't think it's the focus on the amount of time that's really the way the court should look at it here. and this, i think, was the insight in justice kennedy's concurrencein demore. the amount of time increases here in part precisely because, as i indicated at the start, congress has provided a substantial number of 6 substantive and procedural protections for individuals: 7 they have the right to lawyer at their own expense. they have the right to an interpreter. they have the right to present evidence and to gather evidence and to use subpoenas to get evidence. they can appeal to the bia. they can appeal to the court of appeals. but with that process comes time. and i think a focus on just the length
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of time without the reasons for the delay, without looking at the fact that aliens routinely and understandably file for continuances, and to impose a rigid six-month rule like the court of appeals did is really a mistake. with respect to demore, i really would like to address your honor's concern there on a number of situations. your honor is right that the statistics we provided to the court were inaccurate, and we apologize. justice kagan: so i wasn't even blaming you, because i think it was partly the statistics that were provided and partly what the court did with them. it doesn't really matter who was to blame or who wasn't to blame. i was just suggesting that, in fact, demore -- demore says that the average is five months; it turns out that the average is more like a little bit over a year. general gershengorn: so, your honor, so i -- the reason why i think demore still is good is this
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reason: i think demore rested on two pillars. first was the judgment that flight risk and recidivism are real problems and that ij's are really bad at predicting, and that, therefore, congress could make a categorical judgment in this area of immigration law that mandatory detention was appropriate. and, second, that unlike zadvydas, the 14 purpose of the detention was still being served. the purpose of the detention was to effectuate removal, and the detention was not going to be permanent and it was not going to be indefinite. those are true. 18 it is true that this court assumed incorrectly that the length of detention was five and a half months. but in kim -- in demore itself, the alien had already been in -- had been detained for more than days, and the court was sending that 23 individual back for an ij hearing and a bia appeal. and so even under the court's erroneous assumption that there was going to be five and a half months tacked on,
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we're talking about a detention for a year. now, with respect to the time limits, they 3 arenot trivial. these are serious -- these are serious matters, and we recognize that. the current median time for -- for the demore figures is around 233 days now, 6 but it's gone from seven to nine months over the years. and the average time, which is not what we think the court - justice sotomayor: so when is it, in theory general gershengorn: -- it's more like 10 12 to 12 months. i'm sorry. justice sotomayor: -- when it's not the alien's fault, and you seem to suggest that if budgetary matters or personnel matters are what are inflicting the delay that that's okay. is there any -- you said 20 years is the end point. but given that we have a due process right not to be held
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indefinitely, even though it may have a distant point of release somewhere in an unknown period, because the government now, i understand, if a alien asks for an adjournment, bia judges who are overbooked are sometimes taking months to 24 give them another date. at what point does the government's behavior come into this analysis? 2 general gershengorn: so, your honor, i think the government's behavior - justice sotomayor: intentionally or not. i mean, i would assume that if the government was just 6 delaying because it wanted to, you would say that's unconstitutional. general gershengorn: absolutely, your honor. and that is - justice sotomayor: all right. but at what 11 point does indefinite, albeit with a lengthy, far-off 12 detention date, become unconstitutional? general gershengorn: so, your honor, we don'tthink that the mere date itself is what makes it
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unconstitutional. but to be clear - justice sotomayor: no. what makes it 17 unconstitutional in my mind is the unreasonable delay or 18 detention. general gershengorn: right. the -- so a couple of points on that, your honor. first of all, the -- it is not our view that most of the delays that we are talking about here in the lengthy cases are situations that are resulting from government-resource problems or things of that nature. a lot -- the record indicates that aliens routinely seek alderson reporting company -- continuances and they seek multiple continuances. and
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they do that for good reason, which is to build a record. what most of the aliens him here are seeking is discretionary relief. and if they're seeking discretionary relief, then they're going to want to build the record. so i don't think the record is -- is that most of the delay is ij, lack of immigration judges or bia resources. and, indeed, ur expedites the 10 proceedings that involve detained aliens. and so that is a -- a government policy to deal with your honor's question. justice alito: assuming -- assuming that there is a constitutional limit of the type that's been discussed, is that -- do you think that can be addressed in a class action, or is it something that can be addressed only in individual habeas cases? general gershengorn: so, your honor, we think it's clearly the latter,
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and we really think that that is one of the major flaws of the ninth circuit's decision, is that it adopted a class-wide rigid rule 22 that applies to aliens no matter what is the cause of the delay, no matter whether the alien is a criminal alien or arriving alien, no matter whether the alien is seeking discretionary relief or not discretionary relief. that one-size-fits-all approach is not the right way to do it. the way to do it is in individual, as-applied challenges through habeas proceedings, which iswhat the court - justice kagan: i guess i don't quite understand that. why couldn't a court, whether it's the ninth circuit or whether it's this court in reviewing 8 the ninth circuit, say, here are the constitutional guidelines. here's the way to -- it might -- it might not be a one-size-fits-all. it
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might be a presumptive limit, but the ability to go beyond that in individual cases, but to set those -- to set those guideposts and then let the individual determinations take place. general gershengorn: so in theory, your honor, the short answer is the due process clause doesn't usually permit that kind of broad-based approach 17 that doesn't take advantage -- take cognizance of the various differences between the aliens on the ground. i 19 think, for example, the difference between - justice kagan: well, wouldn't it be better to set some guideposts that everybody in the country would know to follow rather than having one suit pop up here and one suit pop up here and another in another place and everybody would be treated differently? that
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does not seem like a good immigration system. general gershengorn: so the first thing i would say, your honor, is that the one thing that we know shouldn't be the casebe the case is what the ninth circuit has done, which is the opposite of that, which is apply a single standard to everybody regardless of -- regardless of the cause of the delay. i mean, this gets at the very concern that the court -- that the dissent in zadvydas, justice kennedy's dissent, and then the majority in demore highlighted, which is that kind of rigid rule creates an incentive for an alien to delay, and we wouldn't adopt the
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clear-and-convincing standard, which - kagan: well, i wasn't -- i wasn't 14 suggesting a rule that was quite as rigid as that. but i was suggesting more that the court, say, pick up some of your language in your brief and say that the detention has to serve the purposes for which the detention is meant. and, presumptively, that is -- pick a number -- nine months, a year - general gershengorn: so, your honor - justice kagan: -- six months, whatever, something pretty reasonable, but only presumptively if there is some exceptional circumstance that could be extended.
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general gershengorn: so, your honor, i think it would be within the court's power to do that. we don't think that's the way we would approach. i think our -- our - justice kagan: i'm sorry. you do or you don't? general gershengorn: we do not think that's the way we would advise the court to approach - justice kagan: no, no, no. i'm sorry - general gershengorn: we think the court would have power to do that - justice kagan: okay. sorry. general gershengorn: -- but we don't think that's the way the court should do it. but what the court is -- what the court has generally done in a due process situation is have as-applied challenges, and we think that's the sensible way to go - justice kagan: well - 18 general gershengorn: -- given the tremendous variation -
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justice kennedy: in a class action, the court has to grant or deny relief. and i don't know. what would be the relief if -- if the court says, well, 23 we're not going to say, you know, what the situation is going to be for any of the members of this class, but here are our thoughts about how individual determination should be made. general gershengorn: i agree with that, your honor, and that is why we don't think that's what the courts should do. i think -- and so -- i mean, to be clear, i think the court has the power to give guidance, but we don't think that that is the -- the approach that's most consistent with the due process clause or the way to think about these categories of cases. justice sotomayor: well, how about the aba amicus brief here? general gershengorn: i'm sorry.
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can i just finish - justice sotomayor: is that -- go ahead. general gershengorn: we do suggest in our brief that there are -- there are indicators, you know, that -- that 90 percent of the ij hearings are done 18 within 14 months, and 90 percent of the bia proceedings are done within 19 months. and what i think those -- we would -- those -- we would offer those to the court, not as -- as indication that the due process clause has been 22 violated, but those are situations in which one might reasonably, in a -- in a as-applied challenge take advantage of -- take justice kennedy's opinion up on its standard and -- and do the kind of searching inquiry that we would think about. 2 justice sotomayor: we are in an upended world when we think 14 months or 19 months is a 4 reasonable time to detain a person.
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a general gershengorn: so, your honor, what i -- i totally understand - 7 justice sotomayor: -- understand that. general gershengorn: but what i'm trying to suggest to your honor is that that is part and parcel of an overall scheme that offers tremendous process to the individual alien, and that part of the reason for that delay is the government - justice sotomayor: but you would think that 14 that process, at least with respect to 1226(b), is to 15 ensure that the person is not a flight risk or a danger. general gershengorn: your honor, it is -
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it is to effectuate congress's categorical judgment that those -- either that there -- that they -- is a risk, a 19 flight risk, and a risk of recidivism, and that it's very hard to predict those. justice breyer: i have a couple of questions i'd like to ask, actually, because it's a complicated statute. and you can correct me. i think you have some extra - chief justice roberts: yeah. i'll -- i'll give you extra time to answer the questions if - 2 justice breyer: we're -- we're talking 3 about three categories. the first category is people
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4 who show up on the border. that's mostly 1225. i've 5 looked at that. i don't see any words there that would 6 prevent interpreting the statute from saying, of course, 7 you have a bail hearing after six months, and under 8 whatever standards. i'm not going with the ninth 9 circuit standards, et cetera. i don't see the words. 10 so put that in your mind, because you're going to tell 11 me the words in a minute. 12 general gershengorn: right. 13 justice breyer: but the more important 14 part, i think, is the criminal part. and there i have 15 divided my mind into three -- three stages. 16 stage one, the person is released from jail, 17 let's say. and the statute says, attorney general, pick 18 him up. and then there is a period of time where he 19 says, i have a right to stay in the united states, and 20 the ag says you don't. and during that period of time 21 we have the "only if" language. 22 and then we go to the period of there is a 23 final removal order, and that's a 90-day order. and 24 there i see no way around the statute. i agree with 25 you. that 90 days, you cannot get out of the statute. i mean, it's definite.
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2 then the removal period ends, and we are in i mean, it's definite. 2 then the removal period ends, and we are in 3 zadvydas. and unlike you, i don't think demore 4 overruled zadvydas. demore was talking about a brief 5 period of time. 6 so now, let's start with the criminal. 7 general gershengorn: okay. okay. 8 justice breyer: let's look at that statute. 9 as you would like to interpret it, during that first 10 period -- remember, the him second period i'm with you, the 11 90 days. the third period settled. that's zadvydas. 12 you got to let him go after six months. so we are 13 talking about the first period. 14 if there's a -- i think -- take my word for 15 it. i might be wrong. i go
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back and did it. i wrote 16 the zadvydas thing. i think it said six months. 17 (laughter.) 18 general gershengorn: i trust you on that. 19 justice breyer: i might be wrong. i'm 20 often wrong in what i think i said. all right? 21 (laughter.) 22 justice breyer: so -- so we are in the 23 first part. 24 now, on that first part, it's a pretty odd 25 statute that can say you don't have -- you -- we can keep you for two years, you know, or three, or four. 2 you've just been out of jail, hey, your term is over. 3 your punishment's over, but you've got four more years 4 here of punishment while we try to get to stage two, 5 which is called the removal order. that's what's 6 bothering me. 7 it is bothering me that, as a lawyer, it 8 produces an odd statute. as a person who tries to 9 interpret the constitution, i'd say what happened to the 10 notion that you do let people out on bail when, in fact, 11 they're not a flight risk. and how can they be punished 12 for four more years? maybe it's the constitution. 13 maybe there is a way around that "only if" language. 14 but the concern is the same. 15 so now -- now you have all my questions out 16 there, and i -- i know they're -- they're -- do what you 17 can. 18 (laughter.) 19 general gershengorn: okay. and i'll try to 20 be -- i'll try to be brief because i'm cognizant of the
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21 chief justice's generosity here. 22 i do think that the statute squarely 23 forecloses it at both stages, your honor. if we're at 24 page 156(a) - general gershengorn: -- of the appendix to 2 the petition, the statute starts out 1226(a) that, "the 3 alien may be arrested and detained pending a decision on 4 whether the alien is to be removed" - 5 justice breyer: may. may. 6 general gershengorn: -- "from the united 7 states." 8 but then -- it does say "may" there, but 9 then it says, "except as provided in subsection c of the 10 section and pending such decision, the attorney general 11 may continue" - 12 justice breyer: may. 13 general gershengorn: but it says "except 14 for subsection c," and then subsection c is the one that 15 says, unambiguously, "shall be taken into custody and 16 released only if." 17 justice breyer: c is the criminals. c is 18 the criminals, isn't it? 19 general gershengorn: yes, your honor. 20 justice breyer: okay. i agree. criminal 21 is a different matter. i'm just talking about -- go 22 ahead. go ahead. 23 general gershengorn: all right. thank you. 24 i'll reserve the balance of my time. 25 chief justice roberts: thank you, counsel.
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mr. arulanantham. 2 oral argument of ahilan t. arulanantham 3 on behalf of the respondents 4 mr. arulanantham: thank you, mr. chief 5 justice, and may it please the court: 6 i actually think the dispute between the 7 parties is narrower than it seems based on what my 8 friend, acting solicitor general, has just said, because 9 we agree that length by itself doesn't make detention 10 unconstitutional. we agree that there doesn't need to 11 be a hard cap on detention. we're just talking about 12 the need for an inquiry, that is, the need for a hearing 13 that is individualized rather than a categorical 14 presumption that someone is a danger and flight risk. 15 justice alito: are you making a statutory 16 argument? and the ninth circuit's decision was based on 17 the -- an interpretation of the statute, wasn't it? 18 mr. arulanantham: yes. and what - 19 justice alito: so are you making a 20 statutory argument or are you making a constitutional 21 argument? 22 mr. arulanantham: we are making both. 23 section one makes the constitutional argument. but i 24 still think the dispute is -- is narrower, because 25 really, the primary focus, your honor, is about whether
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the mechanism for implementing that, whether it's 2 constitutional or statutory constraint, has to be 3 habeas, or instead, as justice kagan suggested, it could 4 be as i understood - 5 justice alito: well, i understand that. 6 but to me, at least, it makes a difference whether we're 7 interpreting the statute or whether we're interpreting 8 the constitution. 9 mr. arulanantham: it -- it - 10 justice alito: and i'll tell you, on the 11 language of the statute, i think you have a pretty 12 tough -- you have a pretty tough argument. 13 mr. arulanantham: your honor, we concede 14 that as to 1226(c), the -- what you're calling the 15 criminal or mandatory detention subclass, we have to win 16 that there is a serious constitutional problem because 17 their interpretation is not -- i mean, they're 18 completely unreasonable - 19 justice alito: well, you can't -- you're - 20 is that a constitutional argument or a statutory
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21 argument? 22 mr. arulanantham: well, if there's an alien 23 - 24 justice alito: constitutional avoidance 25 isn't just sort of, well, we really don't think we can interpret the statute this way, but we don't have the 2 guts to say that it's unconstitutional. so we're going 3 to put the two things together and say, well, by 4 constitutional avoidance - 5 mr. arulanantham: well, i think - 6 justice alito: -- is what it means -- this 7 is what it means. 8 mr. arulanantham: understood, your honor. 9 but we think that the constitutional -- the statutory 10 interpretation here is no less plausible than the one in is no less plausible than the one in
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11 zadvydas. i mean, zadvydas, you've got a 90-day 12 mandatory detention period followed by a requirement for 13 release and then an exception. and the exception says 14 you may - 15 justice breyer: what do you do with "only 16 if"? 17 mr. arulanantham: well, "only if" applies 18 to the initial detention. it authorizes people to be 19 released even immediately after they are being picked up 20 if they are in the witness protection program. but it 21 still doesn't speak clearly to what happens when 22 detention becomes prolonged. 23 and as i said, in zadvydas, the statute said 24 you can detain beyond the
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removal period. but the court 25 found that that wasn't clear enough to authorize long-term detention in justice breyer's - 2 justice breyer: you've got most -- most - 3 zadvydas turned on the "may," you see. it gave him 4 permission. and as -- as he just pointed out, there's 5 may, may, may, may, may, but then in the criminal side, 6 see, on the criminal side -- i'm not talking about long-term detention in justice breyer's - 2 justice breyer: you've got most -- most - 3 zadvydas turned on the "may," you see. it gave him permission. and as -- as he just pointed out, there's 5 may, may, may, may, may, but then in the criminal side,
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6 see, on the criminal side -- i'm not talking about 7 people on the border. i -- you -- pretty strong 8 argument, people on the border -- but there it says, 9 "the attorney general may release an alien described in 10 paragraph (1)" -- those are the criminals coming out - 11 "only if" -- and then it's the witness protection 12 program. 13 so he says, how do you get around that one? 14 mr. arulanantham: understood, your honor. 15 i -- i only want to say one more thing about the 16 statute, because i -- i don't want to belabor the point. 17 but five months -- four months after the zadvydas 18 decision, congress passed the patriot act. 19 the patriot act didn't only -- it clearly 20 authorized long-term detention in six-month intervals; 21 it said six months. it did it not only in post order 22 cases, which was speaking directly to zadvydas, but also 23 in pending cases, that is, cases like this one. 24 so subsection (a)(7) of that statute 25 authorizes long-term detention, six-month intervals while the case is pending. and it authorizes 2 substantive review over
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whether the detention should 3 continue, whether the certification remains valid, but 4 only in national security cases, and that's the rest of 5 our statutory argument. i mean, that provision that 6 specifically authorizes long-term detention, it is 7 limited to national security cases, in pending cases, 8 really makes -- makes the government's interpretation 9 hard to make sense of, because why -- you know, under 10 their view they actually have more authority to detain 11 people with simple possession offenses or with petty 12 thefts than they have people who are accused of 13 terrorism grounds. and they actually have even more 14 authority in terrorism cases under 1226(c), under 15 (c)(1)(d), than they have under the patriot act that 16 congress gave them four months after. 17 justice alito: so are you saying that 18 1226(a), the patriot act provision, makes the 19 government's interpretation of 1226(c) superfluous? 20 mr. arulanantham: yes, as to terrorism 21 cases, as to all the terrorism cases, that is cases 22 where a person is inadmissible or deportable on a 23 terrorism ground, they already had on their view more 24 authority in 1996 than congress gave them - 25 justice alito: well, there -- there are
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different -- there are quite noticeable differences 2 between the two provisions, so i don't know how far this 3 argument can go. 4 for one thing, the -- the list of -- in 5 1226(a) -- (a) -- (a)(3)(a), there are listed one, two, 6 three, four, five, six categories, and four of those are 7 not included in the patriot act provision; isn't that 8 right? 9 mr. arulanantham: that's true, but the 10 terrorism grounds are invoked. 11 justice alito: that's one thing - 12 mr. arulanantham: and the patriot act 13 presumably did -- meant to focus on terrorism. 14 justice alito: yes. okay. that's one 15 thing. 16 under 1226(c)(1), the attorney general shall 17 take any -- shall take into custody any alien who under 18 then sub (d) of that is inadmissible or deportable. so 19 the person must be
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inadmissible or deportable. and 20 under 1226(a), the attorney general -- (a)(1)(a), the 21 attorney general -- well, what is it, (a)(3)(a), the 22 attorney general has reasonable grounds to believe. so 23 it's a different standard. 24 mr. arulanantham: yes. although the 25 government interprets the language you read about in -- is it admissible just to mean that they believe whether 2 or not it's been charged. 3 but i don't want to belabor the point, your 4 honor. we have to establish there is a serious 5 constitutional problem. there's no question about that. 6 justice kagan: can i ask about your 7 statutory interpretation on 1225? 8 mr. arulanantham: yes, please, your honor. 9 justice kagan: that's the one where it 10 says, the alien shall be detained for, and then one 11 provision says, for further consideration of the 12 application for asylum, and the other says, for a
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13 removal proceeding. and you say that -- that that 14 applies only until the relevant proceedings starts. 15 what applies after that, in your view, and 16 where would we find it in the statute? 17 mr. arulanantham: it's 1226(a) which says 18 the attorney general may detain or may release pending a 19 decision on whether the alien - 20 justice kennedy: it's really not 21 interpreting. it says, "for the proceeding." if i tell 22 my children i'm going to visit them for christmas, that 23 doesn't mean i have to leave on christmas eve. 24 mr. arulanantham: it does not, your honor. 25 i would hope --
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suggested that that hearing that's available, even 2 perhaps only as a matter of the due process clause, that 3 it's sufficient for it to focus on whether the 4 government has engaged -- you know, has run proceedings 5 very quickly so that if a person is engaged in good 6 faith litigation of a substantial defense that, in the 7 government's view, as i understand it, that's a 8 sufficient justification for detention. 9 and that is actually the most serious 10 problem with their view on the due process clause. 11 because if a person has a substantial defense and they
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12 are litigating that in good faith, that does not 13 necessarily mean that their detention is serving a 14 reasonable purpose. in fact, it's almost inversely 15 correlated to it; right? i mean, if a person has a 16 substantial defense, then it's far more likely that they 17 are not a flight risk because they're going to want to 18 go to immigration court to maintain their immigration 19 status. 20 and similarly, if a person has a substantial 21 defense, that means they're not in a class of people 22 that congress wanted to mandate the deportation of, 23 which probably means they have a less serious crime. if 24 you are an aggravated felon, for example, you're not 25 eligible for lpr cancellation of removal. most of the mandatory subclass is eligible for that. 2 justice alito: do you think that the flight 3 risk and danger to the community are both continuums? 4 mr. arulanantham: yes, your honor, but i 5 think it has to be reasonably related to the detention. 6 so -- excuse me, your honor. 7 justice alito: well, so if you have the 8 situation where the person is litigating in -- for -- in 9 a -- there has been lengthy litigation, but the judge 10 can't say this is done in bad faith or it's dilatory,
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11 it's just very lengthy and it keeps going on and on and 12 on and on, and then you have a flight risk that's 13 someplace on this scale and you have a risk to the 14 community that's someplace on this scale, how can you 15 address how something like that can come out -- should 16 come out with any kind of a categorical role? 17 mr. arulanantham: so we don't advocate how 18 that person -- releasing that person on a categorical 19 rule. we're only talking about getting the inquiry. so 20 we agree: that is a very individualized judgment that 21 the judge has to look at: how serious is the criminal 22 history here? how strong are the equities as to flight 23 risk? 24 justice kennedy: you do say -- or the ninth 25 circuit says there has to be clear and convincing evidence which is higher than the flight risk standard 2 in a standard bail case. 3 mr. arulanantham: it is, your honor. 4 although, remember, these are only hearings happening 5 after six months. so, you know, you got that bail 6 hearing in a matter of days in the criminal context. 7 but - 8 justice breyer: is this -- is this - 9 right. i'm focusing now right
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on the people who want to 10 come into the united states. if they're in the desert 11 and they say, i won't go back because i have a right to 12 live here, they do get a bail hearing. so if the whole 13 is taking a long time, they'll at least have a bail 14 hearing. 15 if they're at the border and they're coming 16 in under the same statute, 1225, they say, i'm not going 17 back. i have a right to live here. and then there is 18 no hearing? 19 mr. arulanantham: that's correct, your 20 honor. 21 justice breyer: well, how can that -- i 22 don't get that, because what it says is "may" 23 throughout, until you get to the word "shall be detained 24 for a proceeding under section 1229(a)"; is that right? justice breyer: so i look up 2 section 1229(a). and section 1229(a), which i've been 3 reading, doesn't say anything about keeping them in 4 detention. so why isn't it the simplest thing in the 5 world once that person's at the border and they say, 6 we're going to detain you for 1229(a). you say, have
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7 the 1229(a) tomorrow. and if they don't have it 8 tomorrow, then you say, but i'm into the 1229(a); it 9 just hasn't been scheduled yet. and therefore, you get 10 bail after six months? 11 have you tried that one? 12 mr. arulanantham: i mean, that's - 13 justice breyer: what did they say? 14 mr. arulanantham: that's our statutory 15 argument. the government says that the regulations, 16 even though -- even though the person is in front of an 17 immigration judge, the government says that the 18 regulations prevent the immigration judge from having 19 the power to release the person on bail. so even 20 though - 21 justice breyer: so it's the regulations; 22 it's not the statute. so we could say -- i mean, i'm 23 just saying -- you're going to agree with this, which is 24 the problem. i need a disagreement. 25 but the -- the -- you could say they do it for the desert. the language doesn't forbid it. it 2 throws you into 1229(a). it's possible to interpret the 3 statute as saying for purposes of a bail hearing, the
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4 1229(a) starts tomorrow. 5 mr. arulanantham: yes, sir. 6 justice breyer: okay. so we could do that 7 one on the statute if it is correct that you should not 8 hold a person for years in the united states without 9 giving him a chance to get back to his freedom through a 10 bail hearing, if appropriate. 11 okay. (c). now, i'm still stuck on (c). 12 and the reason, the value of a statutory interpretation 13 is that we're dealing with tens of thousands, hundreds 14 of thousands, or millions of people, possibly. and it's 15 an administrative agency organization, and they need a 16 rule. they need a rule. and if we can interpret the 17 statute, you can give them a rule. and that rule, then, 18 can have lots of discretion in it through bail hearings, 19 et cetera. 20 mr. arulanantham: yes. 21 justice breyer: but i haven't heard from 22 you yet what i -- i see no way -- if you want to tell 23 me -- i see no way of getting around the 90 days. that 24 90 days, it seems to me to be they don't get a hearing 25 around the 90 days. the removal order is there.
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mr. arulanantham: so, your honor, those 2 people -- i won't indulge you with disagreement except 3 - 4 justice breyer: good. 5 mr. arulanantham: -- on this one point: 6 those people are not in our class. if you are - 7 justice breyer: you are -- you are not 8 worried on a - 9 mr. arulanantham: we are not worried. if 10 the government - 11 justice breyer: okay. then after, we've 12 got zadvydas. and then before - 13 mr. arulanantham: correct. 14 justice breyer: -- the 90 days starts, they 15 say, well, gee, shouldn't we -- shouldn't there be an 16 exception here so that the period between the time they 17 are released from their punishment to the time we have 18 the hearing, if that goes on for 10 years, you know, you 19 can't -- the person was
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supposed to be punished for six 20 months, not for 10 years. 21 mr. arulanantham: yes. and - 22 justice breyer: i got your argument. 23 mr. arulanantham: that's right. 24 justice breyer: but i want to know, what do 25 i do with the language? 1 mr. arulanantham: right. 2 justice breyer: and -- and -- and 3 the -- the -- you know, language counts. 4 mr. arulanantham: yes. 5 justice breyer: so i - 6 mr. arulanantham: yes. two -- two thoughts 7 to work on the language, your honor. 8 first, assuming nobody is willing to accept 9 1226(c) can be interpreted, every court of appeals said
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10 that it could be interpreted, at least to have some 11 reasonableness limit in it, whether a six-month rule or 12 another one. 13 but if -- if i can't persuade your honors of 14 that, the due process clause often -- the court does use 15 rules of administrability where they are needed to 16 create uniformity of practice and - 17 chief justice roberts: well, the court 18 below didn't reach your constitutional argument, right? 19 mr. arulanantham: it did not, your honor. 20 chief justice roberts: well, do you expect 21 us to do it in the first instance? 22 mr. arulanantham: there's a voluminous 23 record, and it's entirely briefed, but certainly the 24 court could. but the court could also remand for 25 consideration -- justice kagan: i'm a little bit surprised 2 that you answered the question that way, because it 3 seems to me that it's quite obvious what the court below 4 thinks as to the
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constitutional question where did they 5 get this from, except as an understanding of what the 6 constitution required. 7 mr. arulanantham: yes, your honor. the 8 court, i think - 9 chief justice roberts: well, maybe they 10 didn't have the courage of their convictions. i mean, 11 if they do think it's unconstitutional, they could have 12 said so rather than stretching the principles of 13 constitutional avoidance to the length they did. 14 mr. arulanantham: your honor, i won't 15 pretend to understand what was in the heads of the - 16 the ninth circuit judges, except that they had seen 17 prolonged detention problems for years. they had 18 decided in 2005 that mandatory detention applied only to
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19 expeditious removal proceedings, and there continued to 20 be cases floating up, individual habeas cases, four 21 years. 22 i had a client four and a half years 23 detained by the government, was appealing seven years, 24 and that was part of why the court thought we needed a 25 -- a system, whether -- i would suggest even if it's on due process grounds, you need a system that is 2 administrable. 3 and, you know, the person doesn't even know 4 -- the judge doesn't know when to pull the case off the 5 shelf and look at whether or not to conduct the inquiry, 6 justice alito, that you were talking about, unless you 7 have some kind of trigger that allows them to do that. 8 and the time periods -- and if you look at, 9 say, the third circuit experience, right, they said in
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10 2011 that it had a reasonableness limit as a statutory 11 matter, and that then there should be an inquiry into 12 whether or not the detention remains permissible. and 13 they say we reject the time period because of demore - 14 in a -- it would be inconsistent with demore. 15 justice sotomayor: so why is the 16 zadvydas -- this went -- the ninth circuit remedy went a 17 lot further than zadvydas did. zadvydas just created a 18 presumption, or did away from -- with a presumption. 19 here the court is actually requiring - 20 mr. arulanantham: but, your honor, it's 21 requiring -- zadvydas requires release. this is just 22 the inquiry. so it's actually quite similar. 23 you know, what we're saying is unless 24 removal is imminent -- okay, it's just a presumption - 25 unless removal is imminent, there -- there's a two-week window to conduct the hearing under the injunction, you
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2 should look into conduct an inquiry to see whether or 3 not danger or flight risk actually justifies the 4 continued detention of this person. it's not -- it's 5 not a cap on detention at all. and as i said, many 6 people don't get out. so i think it's quite consistent 7 with the approach that the court took in zadvydas. you know, exhibit 73 to my declaration - 21 this is this ethiopian asylum-seeker. he has passed the 22 background check. he has passed the background check, 23 and he is found to have a significant possibility of 24 asylum. and now he is going in front of the deportation 25 officer who is conducting his parole review. and the
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deportation officer just chooses not to believe him. 2 when he finally gets in front of an 3 immigration judge who grants him asylum, the immigration 4 judge says, but you've already passed the background 5 check, and there -- there's no question from here. and 6 we have a witness now because we are having a hearing, 7 that this person is who he says he is. 8 and that's all we are talking about, just 9 the minimal requirement of a hearing in front of a 10 neutral decisionmaker for people who have been -- had 11 very, very long periods of incarceration. and that 12 minimal requirement we think is available under the 13 statute and also under the due process clause. 14 chief justice roberts: thank you, counsel. 15 four minutes, general gershengorn. 16 rebuttal argument of ian h. gershengorn 17 on behalf of the petitioners 18 general gershengorn: thank you, mr. chief 19 justice. i'll be brief. 20 i wanted to make first a short point on the 21 patriot act to shore up the construction of 1226(c). 22 there are two, as justice
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alito suggested, 23 two fundamental differences with the patriot act. the 24 first is that it allows for a certification. it has to 25 be by the attorney general or the deputy attorney general. it can't be delegated, but then that is not 2 reviewable. it's very different from the 1226(c) where 3 the alien gets a joseph hearing and it's subject to - 4 to bia review. 5 the second piece of the patriot act that 6 makes it very different is that it overrides zadvydas 7 and actually permits the attorney general to provide for 8 detention, even when there's no foreseeable likelihood 9 of relief. 10 and so it's -- it is a situation in which 11 there is, of course, some overlap, as one would expect 12 in a situation -- in a series of statutes dealing with 13 terrorists, but the -- there is no superfluity, and 14 they're dealing with very different things. it gives 15 extraordinary powers to the attorney general for a -- a 16 limited group. 17 i also wanted to touch base on -- to address 18 some of the statutory arguments with respect to 1225. i 19 don't believe that -- for the reasons justice kennedy 20 said, i don't believe that the statute really is
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21 ambiguous. it says, and this is on page 152(a) of the 22 appendix to the petition, "the alien shall be detained 23 for further consideration of the application for 24 asylum." and then on 155(a) it says, "the alien shall 25 be detained for a proceeding under section 1229(a)." what justice kennedy said - 2 justice breyer: well, i wasn't -- i wasn't 3 thinking of necessarily asylum seeker. i was thinking 4 of a man who goes to a foreign country who is an alien. so i'm simply asking, if that human being, 12 who has a family in the united states is, in the view of 13 the government, locked up for five years without any 14 hearing whatsoever, without any opportunity for bail, 15 even though he can get out of it simply by abandoning 16 his family and returning to another country, is that the
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17 position of the government as to what this statute 18 means? 19 general gershengorn: so, your honor, the 20 position of the government is that that individual would 21 have an individualized as-applied challenge in a habeas 22 proceeding, but that is not what should drive the 23 statutory interpretation, which is principally what we 24 are talking about here. in the statute since 1917. the "shall be detained for" 5 formulation exists -- was in the original statute in 6 1917. it was in the statute that was enacted in 1952. 7 it has always been understood - 8 justice kagan: it's odd language, though, 9 general. i mean, easy enough to say pending a removal 10 decision, or pending an asylum decision. 11 general gershengorn: and that's the - 12 justice kagan: and they didn't say that. 13 they said for the consideration of an asylum 14 application. like, why would you say that, to say 15 pending an asylum decision? 16 general gershengorn: and
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that's precisely, 17 your honor, why i wanted to invoke the history. it's 18 because that is how it's been understood for a hundred 19 years, for literally 100 years or 99 years, and - 20 and -- and it has always been understood that the 21 exclusive way to get into the -- >> we have a special webpage to help you follow the supreme court. once on our supreme court page, you will see four of the most recent oral arguments heard by the court this term and click on the view all link to see all of the oral arguments covered by c-span. can also see recent appearances by many of the supreme court justices. or watch in their own words. including one-on-one interviews. there is also a calendar for this term. a list of all current justices with links to quickly see all of
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